09.30.09

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Google Cracks SharePoint and Office Lock-in, Microsoft Still Morbidly Obsessed with GNU/Linux

Posted in Formats, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, OpenDocument, Red Hat, Servers at 12:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I’d put the Linux phenomenon really as threat No. 1.”

Steve Ballmer, 2001

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Summary: Google creates more funnels to lead away from Microsoft software and formats/protocols; Microsoft takes aim at GNU/Linux

MANY migrations without permission seem to involve SharePoint, which is the most total Microsoft piece of lock-in, allegedly. There are some ways out however and another new one has just received coverage from Glyn Moody, who writes about a new Google Sites API.

Cracking Open the SharePoint Fortress

[...]

Assuming that I’ve not missed something here, this new Google Sites API seems pretty big to me: it offers a Get Out of Jail Free card to businesses that would otherwise find some of their content locked away in SharePoint. And once that data is liberated, there are plenty of open enterprise content management solutions out there that would be glad to accommodate it – without the lock-in, of course.

Here is some more new stuff from Google, which enables people to escape the Microsoft Office lock-in. [via Glyn Moody]

As interns on the Google Docs team this past summer, we were excited to be able to work on making Google Docs that much more useful for students like us. We’ve now added a bunch of back to school features which should help our fellow students make the transition from summer to school that much easier — and we hope they’ll be useful to you non-students as well!

There is support for equations now. Since Docs adheres to OpenDocument format (ODF), it will interact nicely with other ODF-compliant software, maybe with the exception of Microsoft Office that does mathematics its own way, thus breaking interoperability [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

Without Free software, there would probably be no Google. Microsoft realises what’s going on here, so its obsession with blocking GNU/Linux, the "most potent operating system competitor," promptly kicks in again.

Microsoft’s server and tools business in the coming year will focus on gaining ground in the high-end database and server market, helping users transition to the cloud and extending its dominance over Linux, according to the division president.

What about UNIX? And if Steve Ballmer says that 60 percent of servers run GNU/Linux, why use the expression “extending its dominance over Linux”?

Is IDG trying to imply that GNU/Linux is behind, that Microsoft is dominant in servers, and that Microsoft is the one with the momentum? Based on the latest results from Red Hat, the most dominant player in the GNU/Linux servers area, their profit is up 37% despite a tough economy, whereas Microsoft’s is down by over 30% for two consecutive quarters. It is very clear who has the momentum. Matt Asay has just published this post with the dramatic headline “Red Hat to collide with Microsoft,” wherein he claims that:

For years, Red Hat has happily sold Linux to Unix shops anxious to save money at equivalent or better performance. During this time, the company largely avoided Microsoft, which has tended to compete much higher up the stack. No longer. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer argues that one of Microsoft’s biggest opportunities lies in enterprise infrastructure and associated application development.

Red Hat, meet Redmond.

More recently, Red Hat told Microsoft to end the racketeering practices and also accused Microsoft of having patent trolls attack Red Hat [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. As a nice new essay recently stated in its headline, we should not blame Microsoft; “It’s their nature,” indeed. They just can’t help acting like thugs.

“We should whack them [Dell over Red Hat GNU/Linux dealings], we should make sure they understand our value.”

Paul Flessner, Microsoft

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