02.08.09

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Perspective on EMC and Microsoft (and what it means to GNU/Linux)

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Virtualisation, Windows at 10:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Complicated relationship

EMC and Microsoft

A FEW days ago we provided detailed explanations of how Microsoft is using EMC to fight GNU/Linux [1, 2]. The only contradictory thing here is that EMC has Iomega, which makes use of a specialised Linux and VMware may be a GPL violator for its use of Linux.

What probably makes this ironic is that Microsoft and EMC can jointly leverage bits of ‘proprietarised’ Linux against Free Linux, but the point of this collaboration is based on reciprocity, so it mustn’t be assumed that EMC, Microsoft’s partner of the year (for 2008), is acting like a subsidiary. It’s merely an alliance where the crux is the selfish interests of two companies which can elevate each other.

For completeness and for future reference, here is the press release about EMC’s and Microsoft’s “Alliance”, which includes virtualisation (i.e. VMware), according to the following:

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and EMC (NYSE: EMC) agreed to extend their decade-old strategic alliance through 2011 and said they are committed to “broader and deeper product interoperability and service delivery” in areas like virtualization, security, content management and data storage and protection.

More on virtualisation:

Despite a heated rivalry in the virtualization market between EMC-owned VMware and Microsoft, the partnership is a mutually beneficial one that should deliver real results to customers, writes Pund-IT analyst Charles King.

Really? “Heated rivalry”? With Microsoft chiefs in charge of VMware after EMC's brutal intervention? With regards to Maritz vs Microsoft, PJ of Groklaw called it “manufactured dispute” or something along these lines. It becomes a pretend ‘competition’, like Microsoft versus Novell and vice versa. They manage market shares and agree on rules rather than actually compete. US telecoms engage in similarly notorious practices.

There is also some more new coverage of this in The Register and the pro-Microsoft writer Shane O’Neill shows that it’s a lot to do with Microsoft.

One of the big areas of collaboration for us over the next couple of years is, as EMC pioneers what it’s thinking about storage, and as we pioneer where we’re going with products like SQL, Exchange and SharePoint for the cloud, the real onus on us is to bring that back together, both in the cloud and for customers in their data centers.

This is not competition. Some call it convergence, some would call it oligarchy. Whatever it’s called, it demonstrates a serious flaw that impedes development and harms consumers. It also harms GNU/Linux and thus people’s rights.

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