Microsoft versus Linux: Through the eyes of Microsoft

In today's open source roundup: Microsoft's "Why Microsoft" site is fun reading for Linux users. Plus: Is Microsoft ready to embrace open source? And when should software not be open source?

Microsoft has never been a...er...fan of Linux, to say the least. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer even likened Linux to cancer back in 2001. Now Microsoft has an unintentionally hilarious comparison of its server products and Linux on a site called Why Microsoft. Check it out, I think you'll get a few chuckles from it.

According to Why Microsoft:

Microsoft has built a comprehensive next-generation server platform that spans on-premises infrastructure and cloud services. We're helping you realize added value from your existing Linux investments through Hyper-V virtualization and System Center management tools, and we have worked with our partners to enable Ubuntu, OpenLogic, CentOS, Oracle Linux, and openSUSE and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server to run with high performance on the Microsoft Azure cloud.

However, sometimes your solution is focused solely on server-side operating systems, and that's where Linux falls short. Windows Server gives you the highly manageable, secure, cost-effective, cloud-ready platform you need to support your company's innovative IT goals.

More at Why Microsoft
Microsoft versus Linux

I hadn't heard of this site before, but I bumped into it via a Reddit thread. Talk about a one-sided comparison bathed in "marketing-speak!" I particularly enjoyed the ridiculous bit about security threats where Microsoft just says this: "Persistent threats and dedicated attackers can slow your projects and put your IT environment at risk with Linux projects."

It was a fun read this morning while I finished my first cup of coffee. I was fortunate not to snort coffee through my nose while reading through it. Thanks for the laughs, Microsoft.

Microsoft and open source culture

On the other hand, Dev Ops has an article that seems to say that Microsoft is beginning to embrace open source culture or something like that.

According to Dev Ops:

“Recent articles have shown that Microsoft is “open sourcing” code to their internal teams. The fact that that is advertised as innovation is telling,” declared Michael LaVista, CEO and Founder of Caxy. “That’s what smart organizations have always done. In fact, Microsoft has somehow found itself the underdog in this sense and probably needs to do things like this to attract talent.”

Leveraging open source concepts internally isn’t quite the same thing, though, as actually making Microsoft code open source. Open source projects like Apache, Project Libre, or Docker share source code with the general public, and anyone can review the code, and submit changes to improve or fix the code. Open source communities collaborate to continuously enhance the code. Microsoft appears to be doing something similar, but without exposing its source code to the general public.

More at Dev Ops

Feel free to put me in the cynic category when it comes to Microsoft and open source. I think the Why Microsoft site is a much clearer indication of where Microsoft's thinking is at than the speculation in this Dev Ops article. In other words, I'll believe that Microsoft is actually embracing the open source community when it actually happens.

When software shouldn't be open source

The Linux subreddit has an interesting discussion about when software shouldn't be open source.

According to Reddit:

Linux Users: Under what circumstances should software NOT be open source?

More at Reddit

As you might imagine, there were a lot of passionate responses to this question. The one that got the most upvotes is short and sweet:

"Honestly? When you want to be able to slip in back doors, spyware, or other hostile features to the end user."

Check the entire thread out though, it's an interesting question that I haven't seen asked very often in the past.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of ITworld.

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