by Mike Masnick

Microsoft/Linux Connection

LBG writes "Last week, when research firm Meta Group of Stamford, Conn., predicted that Microsoft (MSFT) would begin to support Linux by late 2004 with some of its key server products -- Exchange, IIS, SQL server, and the like -- reactions ranged from outrage to befuddlement. A source inside Microsoft called the report "wacky." Analysts of all stripes debated the veracity of the findings. Even Dale Kutnick, Meta's chief research officer, admitted that Microsoft "is pissed." Business 2.0's Eric Hellweg offers up his analysis of the situation, declaring that it is "inevitable" that Microsoft will be forced to support Linux in the not-too-distant future." I saw the original story last week and thought it strange that people reacted so angrily. I'm not sure that Microsoft will do it, but it doesn't seem as crazy as some people are making it out to be. Already Microsoft makes application software for Apple machines, so it's not as if there isn't some precedent for them to write software for other platforms.

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  1. identicon
    Adam Barr, 17 Dec 2002 @ 2:46pm

    Re: MS Linux predicitions

    The joint development of OS/2 with IBM was not an "upstart" campaign within Microsoft. It was supposed to be the future of the company. And Microsoft did not take the code home with them, they gave it back to IBM. Meanwhile, Windows NT, originally NT OS/2, was supposed to be OS/2 3.0. It was developed by many of the people who worked on VMS, not Unix. However Unix was certainly in mind when it was being developed. The microkernel was never completely re-written, XP has the same kernel that was in the first version of NT, just modified extensively over the years.
    I think that people underestimate the true work involved in porting something like Exchange to Linux or any Unix variant. The actual coding is just the start. Then you have to test it, and market it, and support it. I think Microsoft would get quite nervous having to support Exchange on Linux: "What version of Linux are you running? Oh it's one you built yourself? Isn't that fascinating."
    Now some of those people who underestimate the amount of work involved work for Microsoft. So I am sure there are people at Microsoft who are pushing for this and maybe even doing trial work. But I would be surprised if it ever actually happened.
    - adam

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