“Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.”
–Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO
Summary: Microsoft’s hatred of GNU/Linux, as demonstrated in this weekend’s news
LAST YEAR we presented a Comes vs Microsoft exhibit that shows Microsoft scheming to derail Dell's option of GNU/Linux. This is not just a theory, it a proven fact that Microsoft is trying to remove GNU/Linux choice from the market. Now we are finding this news report from New Zealand — a report which says that Microsoft has something to do with lack of GNU/Linux options in Dell New Zealand:
Christie drew attention to the issue in a session on “Changing the NZ Desktop Stack to FLOSS [Free Linux Open Source Software]” at the linux.conf.au open source conference in Wellington last month.
The NZOSS launched a project last year known as Remix, to encourage migration from Windows to Linux on government desktops. Part of the challenge in dislodging Microsoft from its dominance on government agency desktops is simple aversion to change and the power and familiarity of Microsoft. But the effort to encourage open source is not helped by the lack of a support resource for agencies, Christie says.
As an example of Microsoft’s unique influence with PC makers here, you still cannot buy a Dell PC with Linux installed in New Zealand, Christie says. You can in almost every other country where Dell operates. There are arrangements for Microsoft to assist the hardware makers with marketing and these create a tight bond between them, Christie says.
Dell did not immediately reply to a call seeking confirmation that it still does not provide Linux systems here.
Suffice to say, GNU/Linux still accommodates subcultures like Mono (headed by Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza) which are refusing to acknowledge that Microsoft is doing something wrong. Nothing that they are shown ever changes their mind, not even the TomTom lawsuit.
Well, how about this from yesterday’s news?
Microsoft to Drop Linux, Unix Versions of Enterprise Search
Microsoft will no longer offer Linux or Unix versions of its enterprise search products after a wave of releases set to ship in the first half of this year, the company announced in an official blog post Thursday.
After Microsoft bought Fast Search & Transfer in 2008, it said it would continue offering and updating standalone versions of the company’s ESP platform for Linux and Unix, wrote Bjorn Olstad, CTO for Fast and a Microsoft distinguished engineer. “Over the last two years, we’ve done just that.”
Microsoft used to brag about GNU/Linux tolerance at FAST, but the pretense period is over. FAST was also involved in a major fraud scandal, which basically puts Microsoft under fraud allegations (yes, again [1, 2]).
Here is a comment on the article above, which says: “For someone else, perhaps a free software/open source project to take these customers away from Microsoft. Lets hope that someone steps up and Microsoft just loses out by ignoring the fastest growing server platform in the market.”
“Forty percent of servers run Windows, 60 percent run Linux…”
–Steve Ballmer (September 2008)
Dave Rosenberg writes:
While it makes sense, from a development perspective, for Microsoft to drop Linux and Unix support for FAST, it doesn’t make much sense from a market perspective. Offering FAST only on Windows means that businesses that want to use it will potentially incur costs for Windows licenses, system administration, and systems redesign.
Linux servers, especially for file systems and non-Exchange e-mail, continue to grow. Throw in the notion of cloudlike systems that are effectively operating system-agnostic, and this move seems even less logical.
It’s just like with PhotoSynth. Microsoft buys something that runs on GNU/Linux and makes it a Windows-only product.
“Microsoft allowed us to [remove Internet Explorer from Windows] but we don’t think we should have to ask permission every time we want to make some minor software modification. Windows is an operating system, not a religion.”
–Gateway Computer Chairman Ted Waitt