Confirmed: Microsoft is Deploying GNU/Linux Solutions

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 6:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Because it’s so good

A FEW DAYS ago we wrote about a large subsidiary of Microsoft giving IIS the boot, having been based on GNU/Linux and Free software before it was acquired.

Well, it turns out that — rather surprisingly — Microsoft is building sites for customers using Free software (maybe WordPress) on top of GNU/Linux.

Philly.Com was redesigned by Avenue A/Razorfish and at a very high cost. If the rumors were correct (we suspect they are since the source was someone employed at Philly.Com). We were told last year “A copy of WordPress, a handful of plugins and a template and the new site could have been done in a matter of days for free internally.. instead we shelled out a huge amount of money for Microsoft to build us a Linux based site.”

Fascinating. If rumours are true, Microsoft will let those 2,000 employees* from Razorfish go. They are not compatible. Razorfish staff does not use technologies from its owner, Microsoft. This is not a sole incident [1, 2, 3]. As the famous saying goes, Microsoft just can’t eat its own dog food.

“Forty percent of servers run Windows, 60 percent run Linux…”

Steve Ballmer (September 2008)

* Or less than 2,000 [1, 2, 3, 4].

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  1. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 24, 2009 at 8:59 am


    You guys keep bashing Mono, yet more and more people are using it every day.

    To quote Albert Einstein, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

  2. seller_liar said,

    February 24, 2009 at 10:08 am


    More and more people know about ms novell pact.

    Insanity is use a lot of time to attack this site .

    Like you…..

  3. LinuxN00b said,

    February 24, 2009 at 10:34 am


    I am fairly new to this whole discussion on Mono, but from where I am standing – and I do use a simplistic approach – it looks like you are trying to hit nails in hardwood with a screw driver (= mono) while you have a hammer (= microsoft) at your disposal in the toolbox (= virtualization).
    Surely, the obvious choice is microsoft ??

    I do not see the point of this exercise that is Mono … it might have made sense a couple years and .net versions back …

  4. Myfraudsoft said,

    February 24, 2009 at 10:46 am


    LinuxN00b, the point of Mono(poly) is to get as much as possible GNU/Linux developers addicted to MS technologies.

  5. LinuxN00b said,

    February 24, 2009 at 10:59 am



    If what you say is valid, then you are trying to attract developers that can’t make the distinction between a screw driver and a hammer …

    … sounds like someone is getting the short end of the stick

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 24, 2009 at 11:00 am


    LinuxN00b, the point of Mono(poly) is to get as much as possible GNU/Linux developers addicted to MS technologies.

    Yes. And if they want the ‘Real Thing’ they’ll be temped to go to Windows/VS. Microsoft wants to ‘lead’ GNU/Linux and Free software developers.

  7. Myfraudsoft said,

    February 24, 2009 at 11:22 am


    Well considering that the ‘Real Thing’ (Visual Studio + .NET on Windows) will always be at least one step ahead of Mono, switching to Windows is the most logical thing to do for Mono users. Not to mention that it is legally safer (it is possible that MS can sue Mono users or their clients for patent infringement).

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 24, 2009 at 11:27 am



    I wrote a small tool that exports my Groupwise Calendar to Google Calendar.

    This tool only runs on Windows…

  9. Jose_X said,

    February 24, 2009 at 11:29 am


    I wonder if Novell has intentions of using its dollars (payed employees) to seed more ms/mono-centric distros, then hope the community around it will have momentum to keep doing the work as they pull and move their resources elsewhere.

    Also, it seems Red Hat has gotten back into the desktop distro business with seriousness. That is great.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 24, 2009 at 11:33 am


    You must be referring to this. SJVN exaggerates a little.

  11. Myfraudsoft said,

    February 24, 2009 at 11:37 am


    Well, what a surprise:
    “I’d like to see Gnome applications written in .NET in version 4.0 – no, version 3.0. But Gnome 4.0 should be based on .NET,”

  12. Myfraudsoft said,

    February 24, 2009 at 11:40 am


    Maybe the next version of GNOME will run only on Windows, too.

  13. Myfraudsoft said,

    February 24, 2009 at 11:41 am


    NT kernel + Mono + GNOME = Windows 8?

  14. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 24, 2009 at 11:52 am



    “I just heard that Novell is designing the OS for Windows 7. I live in Provo Utah and heard it from an insider that Novell is designing it w/ a flavor of Linux. I guess that M$ even admits that NT is loaded w/ security and stability issues.

    “I am not sure if this is true, but it would not surprise me.”

  15. Jose_X said,

    February 24, 2009 at 11:58 am


    Novell designing the core of Windows 7 from Linux and GNOME seems a little much. They may be working with Microsoft in that area. The reason I don’t think this is likely is because of copyright ownership and all Microsoft would be giving up (and Microsoft’s greed, pride, etc).

    What might be happening though is that Novell is turning their proprietary OS code (Netware?) into a project with Microsoft. They can give rights to Microsoft (maybe even relicensing rights).

    Which brings to mind OS/2 .. and Windows 95.

  16. Myfraudsoft said,

    February 24, 2009 at 12:11 pm


    We already know that Windows (Vista) 7 will be NT-based (NT 6.1?). Unless MS “pulls a Longhorn” again, and releases Vista7 somewhere around 2015 (rewriting it several times in the process).

  17. David Gerard said,

    February 24, 2009 at 12:13 pm


    Not even using their own Interix? Tch!

  18. ml2mst said,

    February 24, 2009 at 12:39 pm


    @ Myfraudsoft:

    Thanks for the link to the interview with de Icaza. I hope it’s only de Icaza’s whet dream and not an official announcement.

    What a horror story, could pass for one of Stephen King’s Novells :-)

  19. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 24, 2009 at 12:54 pm


    How about a Star Wars novell[sic]?

    Star wars Vader

  20. Ian said,

    February 24, 2009 at 12:54 pm


    What might be happening though is that Novell is turning their proprietary OS code (Netware?) into a project with Microsoft. They can give rights to Microsoft (maybe even relicensing rights).

    Never going to happen. NetWare is a 32 bit OS in need of a serious rewrite before it could be used on modern(64 bit) hardware bare metal. The kernel was tweaked enough by Novell to run paravirtualized on newer hardware, but it still needs a hypervisor in between NetWare and the hardware to run properly. Plus, writing software for NetWare is a horrible experience from what I’ve read.

    Add that together and I don’t see any logical reason why anyone would spend the time to do a complete rebuild on NetWare when the critical network services NetWare is historically known for have all but been moved to Linux already.

  21. Jose_X said,

    February 24, 2009 at 2:59 pm


    I don’t think it’s important what they re-use, if anything. It would be interesting if it’s the case that they might be using their expertise and anything else they own in order to help improve Microsoft’s core OS offering. This would not be a surprise to a lot of people since it’s just code after all and they are already collaborating in many ways.

  22. Ian said,

    February 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm


    Anything is possible of course. If I had to put money on it, however, I would bet that Novell is not helping Microsoft improve Windows in any way directly. What, in Novell’s past, would lead you to believe that they’re capable or willing to help Microsoft improve Windows directly?

  23. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 24, 2009 at 4:17 pm


    Make the leap.

  24. Ian said,

    February 24, 2009 at 4:47 pm


    I don’t read japanese(kanji?), sorry.

  25. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm


    It used to be in English. Now they redirect. See for yourself.

    I only noticed that the language had changed some time this afternoon when someone linked to it in a forum.

  26. Jose_X said,

    February 24, 2009 at 7:11 pm


    >> What, in Novell’s past, would lead you to believe that they’re capable or willing to help Microsoft improve Windows directly?

    They have a closer relationship with Microsoft today than did IBM during the OS/2 days.

  27. Jose_X said,

    February 24, 2009 at 7:13 pm


    I think Novell would undergo almost any “dotnet” project at all in cooperation with Microsoft in the “belief” that they could make the market a two vendor market.

  28. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 24, 2009 at 7:22 pm


    They have a closer relationship with Microsoft today than did IBM during the OS/2 days.

    For Microsoft and IBM there was a little “before|after” period.

  29. Ian said,

    February 24, 2009 at 10:15 pm


    They have a closer relationship with Microsoft today than did IBM during the OS/2 days.

    Based on what? IBM and Microsoft entered into a pact to specifically work on OS/2 together. Novell and Microsoft have no such explicit deal. You’re way off base here.

  30. Jose_X said,

    February 24, 2009 at 11:32 pm


    >> Based on what?

    They have a closer relationship when you look at any of various metrics, eg, $$ exchanging hands as a % of total revenues for Novell. They have partnered fairly close in many areas.

    Let’s clarify something again. I am not alleging this is happening formally. I’m not even saying that I think this is happening informally (they are collaborating but not necessarily on deep OS design/coding). I’m saying I would not be surprised if they were.

    >> Novell and Microsoft have no such explicit deal.

    None that I know about. If this project would not form a substantial component of the businesses of either of these companies in their opinion at this point in time (eg, maybe they have a small engineering group trying to work out various things), then I don’t even see why they’d make it public, especially if they wanted to keep quiet about it for any reason.

    I am not intending to spread rumors or anything like that. I hope that much is clear now.

  31. Needs Sunlight said,

    February 25, 2009 at 2:33 am


    Remember, folks, the “real deal” that MS and Novell are trying to steer people away from is J2EE and Java in general.

    There’s nothing (except maybe maintenance nightmares) that can’t be created, faster, cheaper, better using Java, Python, ruby or even Perl.

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