Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Microsoft

Ex-Microsoft Employee On Unix Within The Empire 382

AntiBasic writes "This article over at InfoWorld recounts an Ex-Microsoftie's accounts of Microsoft's infrastructure usage of different Unices. Interesting insider's perspective which reinforces what we've been thinking all along. For the most part, the company's money-making Web properties are all based around Unix, with Hotmail 99 being 99% FreeBSD, MSN using some Apache on Solaris, bCentral ad servers on 100% FreeBSD, and WebTV pretty much entirely Solaris. "Internally when Windows 2000 was announced, people were told not to even think about using it for production because it was too unstable," says the ex-Microsoft employee. "
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Ex-Microsoft Employee on Unix Within The Empire

Comments Filter:
  • By this logic Harley-Davidson should use their motorcycles to haul motorcycles to dealers instead of using big trucks I know, "it's not a fair comparison, because motorcycles aren't really designed for hauling huge loads and trucks are.."

    Hmmm, maybe that's not such a bad comparison after all.. let's turn it around and see:

    By this logic, Micro$oft should use Windows to run Hotmail, bCentral, etc, instead of using *nix OS's.. I know "it's not a fair comparison, because Windows isn't really designed for carrying huge loads and *nix OS's are.."

    Works for me!! ;-)


    Sean

  • by brokeninside ( 34168 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @04:16AM (#819858)
    AntiBasic writes "This article over at InfoWorld [my emphasis]

    I wonder if AntiBasic and the editors at /. know and understand that Robert X. Cringely's column at Infoworld is nothing more than a gossip column. I'd hardly qualify it as an article. Might as well make it a /. headline, though, gotta keep pace with those Mac rumors that are actually jokes.

    The only think we can be halfway assured of (and only halfway at that) from one of the Cringely columns is that some anonymous people that claimed to have worked at MS claim that some systems are *nix driven via email to Cringely. Yup, there's some breaking new for you. Anonymous ex-employees have gripes about MS products.

    I don't really expect /. to be news par excellence, but many stories lately might as well come out of the Weekly World News.

    I can't wait for K5 [kuro5hin.org] to come back online next month.

  • However, it does not address most of most markets. How can a small company that writes specialized packages for large companies use the product every day? And even more difficult, how can an IBM/MS size company that won't even bother to "penetrate" a market unless it can rabidly, er rapidly gain a majority share, use a product in the way small desktop users will?

    Nobody's saying you should use your own product for things it isn't claimed to be able to do. Nobody expects Harley to have it's parts delivered by motorcycle. It IS reasonable to expect that if and when the CEO rides a motorcycle to work, it should be a Harley.

    If you claim your OS can run an enterprise, run your enterprise with it. Quicken shouldn't keep the corperate ledgers in Quicken, but the CEO should use it at home.

  • Huh?

    I've had letters published by Infoworld and all they did there was ask if it was ok to publish.

    Cringley? He publishes rumors... The juicier the better.

  • *sigh*... it's not a matter of 'if it ain't broke don't fix it'... M$ is advocating everyone move their existing (working or not) systems to Win2k, if they can't/won't/do not do the same themselves,... if you can't see the hypocrisy, and obvious proof that M$ claims about Windoze are false, i don't know what i can do to un-stupid you..

    as far as saying Windoze and M$ and such,... *shrugs*.. why do i type 'w3rd'? it's silly..
    ...dave

  • Depends on what you are talking about. Are you rating them on Techinal qualities? Money making qualities? What flavor they taste like? How many FPS they can get in Quake ASCII?

    I personal think Unix is "superior" because on LSD it tastes like Blue. WinNT tastes like vomit, therefore "inferior". MacOS is the most "superior" because it tastes like apples.

    Please define what you rating you defination of "superior" and "inferior" on.


  • And isn't it amsuing how their "inferior" products have gobbled up more market share then all the "superior" ones? Maybe you need to change your definitions around a bit. It is the victor who is superior, it is the cry-baby looser who is inferior.
  • How deep is the source ??? can anyone verify how much of this is true ?
  • by sheldon ( 2322 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @04:23AM (#819876)
    You don't seem to have a clue what FUD means.

    Your example is called Vaporware, not FUD. It is when a company announces a product long before it's released or perhaps even developed in the hopes of pulling mindshare aware from the competition.

    FUD is Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. It is when you say things about some other product not because they are factual but because you hope to spread well FUD about their product.

    FUD is and can be used by everyone, considering the amount of FUD spread on slashdot I think it's pretty apparent that it is not isolated to large companies.
  • by ciaweb ( 154738 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:22AM (#819879) Homepage

    Guy Kawasaki (or Apple Evangelism fame) published a book a year or two back about "How To Drive Your Competition Crazy." One of the points he made was that you need to use your own product on a daily basis; not only does this give you incentive to improve it, but if you if you can't use it, then you know it's not very good.

    Need I say more?

  • An intelligent company knows enough to use the very best, even if it comes from a competitor. So they're not so dumb after all, eh?

    Evil, yes, dumb, not necessarily.

    Vote [dragonswest.com] Naked 2000
  • by Plastic Puller ( 135870 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:22AM (#819882)
    What the hell was that? A few incomprehensible paragraphs?! Where is the hard hitting investigation, the internal company dirt, the sweet bitterness that only a former Microserf can have? I feel dirty, used, betrayed.

    It's kind of kinky. . .

  • XNormal's post is Excellent!! I wish I had moderator points to mod it up!.

    Of course bear in mind, that just because the web server for the front page has been migrated to IIS, it doesn't necessarily follow that the entire system has been migrated to MS products.

    AFAIK, IIS can call cgi scripts from another system to load a frame, or use a non-MS ODBC or other database call to get data.

  • by The Queen ( 56621 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:24AM (#819886) Homepage
    Microsoft prefers the stuff "written by college kids in their basements"

    Ha! So when their monopoly squelches the Open Source movement, who'll keep their servers up? This is beautiful.

    The Divine Creatrix in a Mortal Shell that stays Crunchy in Milk
  • I was working with M$ when Win2k was released (and I was also in charge of a product that was an early adopter of Win2k as well), and can definately say 100% that there was *never* an announcement not to use it in production. Fud fud fud...

    BTW, Hotmail isn't a moneymaker...
  • I agree with you. The Microsoft website is one of the squirreliest websites you can possibly visit. The navigation isn't consistent all the way through the site (admittedly, it is a large site and different sections are probably controlled by different people and someone may be on vacation)and there are a ton of dead links. Even for key products like FrontPage.

    You only get a mess like that from using FrontPage and Visual InterDev.

  • Why do you hate them? Did you once work for them and got shunned or something (I'm curious)?

    It's hard to make a religion out of something that may or may not be as important as one believes it is.

  • Just remember, Microsoft recently moved Hotmail's frontend web services off of FreeBSD to Windows 2000.

    The "rumor" tries to stir up more controversy then there actually exists in reality.
  • Cringely didn't check around too much; a quick buzz by Netcraft shows that, at least for the site index pages, all of the M$ owned sites he mentions are running IIS5.0 over W2K. It wouldn't be too difficult to check a little deeper to see if the rest of their farm is as well. Personally, I don't care enough about it to do it, but if I was going to pretend to be a responsible journalist, I sure would.
  • The difference is that the linux community is not buying fold-out glossy ads in trade magazines hawking linux 2.4 as the best solution for your enterprise... even if we could afford those kinds of ads we wouldn't do it :)

    "Free your mind and your ass will follow"

  • I have heard that Ferrari is using Scandia trucks for delivering cars. Do they eat their own dog food?
    No, and for a reason. Ferrari do cars that go fast. Scandia do heavy load trucks. I don't expect and low feelings at Ferrari about this. (And the CEO of Scandia may even drive a Ferrari with pleasure, and not a truck.)
    So, what am I saying (if it holds true that MS is using UNIX products): They have bought a legacy of wellrunning on-line services, that carefully have been designed to exploit the advantages of the components on which it resides. If they ever port them to they own platform, it will more or less be a new product.
    BUT..., why don't they admit, that what they are good at, is the desktop system and the ==whoouish== configurations, and not the POTIS (plain old TCP/IP services) when they pop packets like a railgun.
    That would be a whole lot easier and more honest too.

  • I use M$ or even Micro$oft because of how far they will go trying to get another dollar out of their customers.

    Example 1: The fact that Office 97 formats cannot be read by Office 95. So when about 1/3 of the people you corresponded with upgraded, it forced you to upgrade too.

    Example 2: Ghost Licensing Issues. If you purchase a new system and then want to use a Ghost image file to configure it, then you cannot count the software licenses that came with the new system, that is not permitted by the license. You need to use other copies with licenses that permit "Imaging". Effectively this forces many companies to purchase 2 licenses for all the software they want to install on a new system. Read the licenses, it's in there!

    Example 3: The old licenses used to allow a single user to install a copy of the software at work and at home, as long as only that one user used it. In the last few years, M$ changed that and tied the license to the machine so that in order to have a copy at home and work, you need to purchase two copies. Funny how this happened AFTER M$ achieved dominance in the Office Suite market....coincidence? I think not.

    I could go on and I'm sure there are dozens of other examples but I think you get the point....

  • According to www.netcraft.com [netcraft.com] both MSN and Hotmail are running IIS/5.0 on W2k.

    It looks as though Microsoft has, at a minimum, set up the initial contact point on both to at least look as though the site uses W2k throughout.

    Attempting to query internal sites on hotmail returned a 'no DNS' error.

  • This could prove to be interesting...

    If Hotmail performs the same as it always has, how is Microsoft going to explain this to corporate customers?

    If you already have an all, or even mostly UNIX shop, why would you switch to a platform for which you have no coders, admins etc... If you are just starting why would you want to spend the kind of cash MS expects when you can get a system that performs just as well ( I'm being generous to MS for this argument) at a fraction of the cost?

    How can they actually sell this argumet to people? How are they going to justify the, not insignificant, cost increase from FreeBSD to Windows 2000, if there is no corresponding performance/reliability increase? The only way I can see is the standard line about "no one to complain to if you have problems" etc...

    I see a new slogan in MS's future

    Microsoft - Who do you want to sue today!

    Hooptie

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @04:36AM (#819927)
    Yea.

    Miles Davis hasn't sold nearly as many albums as N'Sync. It must be because N'Sync is superior.

    Oh yea, this also means that Garth Brooks is the greatest musician ever.

    Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America

  • I have used Win2k myself, and it is way more stable than anything from Microsoft so far.

    Ooh, that's really saying something. ;-)

    It's not surprising at all that MS isn't using Win2K internally yet. When Linux 2.4 kernel reaches a release state, I would be pretty shocked if Red Hat started using 2.4 internally for everything too. Anyone who trusts brand new software for production systems, probably deserves to be fired. That goes for Microsoft or anyone else.

    Let the bleeding edge guys find the worst of the bugs, and wait for a few service packs to come out. Then Microsoft zealots will have credible-appearing reasons to use Win2k for production, without looking as goofy as they do right now. Any as for the non-zealots, Win2k isn't currently an option, but after it matures a bit, they can evaluate the situation and choose whatever is most appropriate for their goals.


    ---
  • By and large, it's true that small and mid sized businesses can get by OK buying a supposed "turnkey" GUI installable system from MS.

    As your enterprise scales up in size, though, the complexities get to be too much for Joe Boss that has already bought-in to the Colorized Interlocking Puzzle (TM) at the small scale.

    The real pain only begins at the enterprise, where IT knows they have to have Word and Excel running (on Windows due to the Puzzle Principle) because that's what every secretary learned to use and every office manager knows how to run. The support and integration costs of the CIP (TM) (see box for illustration) are enormous - but large enterprises figure they don't have any choice to buying hugely expensive site licences for each and every Puzzle Piece.)

    Since most of MS revenue comes out of corporate IT buying, (motivated by the fear of Bad BallSquishing Things happening if you don't buy all your puzzle pieces from Redmond) the CIP paradigm has turned into a fantastic cash cow for MS.

    The key irony to this revenue generating dream cow is that when MS uses their own CIP-ware, they, too, must have to contend with the technical (not financial, alas) issues of pieces that don't quite fit. (eg, upgrading your server to 2K and ADS no-going-back dilemma, Office 11 won't run on 3.1, etc.) This is your little revenge on MS Marketing for building-in backward incompatibilities that force you to upgrade.

    Fortunately, the risk takers of IT (and at MS, evidently) have been able to figure out how to get some of benefits of software commoditization offered by *nix without paying the tollbooth at MS for what amounts to standard services by selectively buying/downloading gray rubber pieces like SAMBA from *nix.

    Pardon the digression, but this is where Bill G. hit the nail right on his thumb about how

    ...if cars were computers they'd be getting 2000 miles per gallon and cost 5 cents if they followed the same trends established in the computer industry
    He carefully lumped software along for the ride where hardware deserved the credit and provided all the muscle for the 2000 mpg figure of merit.

    People are just beginning to realize that maybe they can get the same kind of commoditization from opensource software and nonproprietary standards.

    But, this is not to say that Linux/Unix has the problem solved at the enterprise level either, by any means. It has a way to go before managing 2000 desktops on 50 subnets with different departmental software requirements gets to be reasonable. The NIS path of Solaris works OK for smaller groups, but I'd like to see a hierarchal scaleable LDAP based scheme for larger setups that not only takes care of user authentication, and other NIS stuff, but also makes a reasonable stab at software updating. It's a difficult problem that SMS shows has yet to be completely solved. Plus, most Linux users are cowboys that resist riding in externally-administered corrals, so there is real long way to go on the desktop...

  • by Foogle ( 35117 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @05:26AM (#819935) Homepage
    Win2k breaks all existing apps, eh? Win2k will run almost ALL existing apps. I'm running it now, and the only thing I've had trouble with are some drivers which were written for NT4, and a CD-Writer suite which I downloaded an update for.

    I don't know where you got that information from, but it's dead wrong.

    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • Sorry to be a negative nancy and all, but an "anonymous ex-Microsoft employee" is hardly the most reliable of sources, even on the internet where verification of information seems optional

    I can't comment on internal communications, since I am not and never have been a MS employee. However:

    telnet ad.linkexchange.com 80
    Trying 204.71.191.203...
    Connected to ad.linkexchange.com.
    Escape character is '^]'.
    GET / HTTP/1.0

    HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found
    Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2000 14:14:42 GMT
    Server: Apache/1.3.6 (Unix)
    Connection: close
    Content-Type: text/html

    Currently, www.msn.com and www.hotmail.com appear to be IIS.

    We know that hotmail has run on BSD for some time, and that MS tried once before to move it to NT but ended up back on BSD.

    I agree with you that MS freely choosing to run Unix is quite unlikely. MS running on Unix because their own OS isn't up to the task, however, isn't surprising at all. I also agree that MS wouldn't use competing products IF their own were comparable.

    As for performing better under heavy loads, it does perform better than 2.2 w/ Apache under a heavy load with fast connections to the client. Many times more clients on 56K dialup (much more likely in the real world) is probably a different matter. I say probably because I havent seen a benchmark of that.

  • Apple doesn't run everything they do on Macs -- is that a testament to quality, suitability or history?

    IMHO yes. Buy what you sell, sell what you buy. Apple has both a decent server (MacOS X) and workstation (MacOS), so why not?

    Some sig I seen in a mailing list somewhere:

    "Buy what you sell, sell what you buy" -- unknown

    If you have seen Microsoft Marketing Machine (MMM) lately it is shouting out:

    "Move from those old junk Unix servers to the Shiny NEW Windows 2000 for these reasons ...." "It is easy to upgrade you old junk Unix servers to the Shiny NEW Windows 2000 .... "

    What are the departments inside of MS saying "We can't move to Windows 2000, there is NO reason" "Upgrading to Windows 2000 would be such a pain in the ass"

    So the marketers are giving you one thing and the internal tech staff is saying another. Lies. Someone is lying. They need to sync up and what the "truth" is, or atleast what they will claim as the truth.


  • Yes, exactly! Everyone is saying "well the facts do jibe with what my personal opinion is, that MS products suck", and the facts may even be true, but I think the odds of thie guys knowing (if he's real) are low.

    MS is a huge huge corporation (duh) and to assume that any one employee knows everything about it, and that his opinion on their technology is the definitive word on it is just silly. But as you said, the internet is not exactly the land of the critical thinkers.

    sig:

  • Yeah great. It is very instructive to note that the IIS 5.0 server running www.hotmail.com has three serious bugs in its HTTP implementation.
    1: It send the response after the first \n in the request
    2: It sends only one newline at the end of the response.
    3: It does not send 'Connection: close' when it closes the connection.

    For almost a month, these bugs prevented Mozilla users from going to http://www.hotmail.com/. Nice product, Bill!

    Well, I just confirmed that (1) is blatantly false (it requires ^M^J like anything else -- maybe your telnet/termcap settings are fscked?)

    (2) is also false. It sends two.

    (3) is not part of the HTTP 1.0 spec -- which you asked for in your HEAD command. It's part of HTTP/1.1 ONLY.

    So basically... you're blaming Microsoft for crap HTTP/1.1 / HTTP/1.0 compliance in Mozilla. NICE.

    Simon
  • And run their web servers on Solaris.
  • I direct your attention to the words of Dean Gaudet, long-time Apache developer and HTTP expert:

    www.hotmail.com IIS/5.0 suckage [geocrawler.com]

  • I know for a fact that hotmail uses only FreeBSD.

    Not any more -- check Netcraft. They're now 100% IIS/Win2k on the web-end.

    Simon
  • I direct your attention to the words of Dean Gaudet, long-time Apache developer and HTTP expert

    And I direct your attention to RFC1945, which is the final word.

    Simon
  • Oh, and by the way, there is a 5 second timeout before it sends the redirect request. He didn't enter CRLF after his HEAD / HTTP/1.1 request, because it had timed out, and was sending the redirect.

    From the RFC1945 specification:

    "9.3 Redirection 3xx
    This class of status code indicates that further action needs to be taken by the user agent in order to fulfill the request. The action required may be carried out by the user agent without interaction with the user if and only if the method used in the subsequent request is GET or HEAD. A user agent should never automatically redirect a request more than 5 times, since such redirections usually indicate an infinite loop. "
  • by llywrch ( 9023 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @06:38AM (#819962) Homepage Journal
    No, at one point they were designed on a Cray. Steve Jobs walked into their corporate headquarters & wanted to buy one then & there.

    When Seymour Cray heard about it, he shrugged, & admitted it was an appropriate choice. ``After all, I designed that Cray on a Macintosh."

    ]someone had to repeat this bit of folklore.computer[
    Geoff

  • Well, listening to Guy Kawasaki on how to drive your competition nuts is about as useful as listening to me on how to have hot lesbian sex: the track record shows that that person just has no clue.

    Maybe ask Bill Gates how to drive the competition nuts (or out of business), precedent has proved he's the one who actually knows.

    sig:

  • It's not surprising at all that MS isn't using Win2K internally yet. When Linux 2.4 kernel reaches a release state, I would be pretty shocked if Red Hat started using 2.4 internally for everything too. Anyone who trusts brand new software for production systems, probably deserves to be fired. That goes for Microsoft or anyone else.

    Microsoft was using Win2k in selected parts of the company in May 1998; and in January 1999, they rolled it out to EVERYONE. You had to move to it -- you had no choice.

    Note; that's EVERYONE. All primary-use machines were converted (ie. all those except ones running images of other OSes for test purposes).

    So, it's FUD.

    Simon
  • It appears that they had 100 boxen earlier, 95 running Unix. Now that they're all Win2k, how many systems are they using to carry the workload?
  • by Dan Hayes ( 212400 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:27AM (#819969)

    Sorry to be a negative nancy and all, but an "anonymous ex-Microsoft employee" is hardly the most reliable of sources, even on the internet where verification of information seems optional. And, like so many other "news" stories on websites this seems like an attempt to stir up activity through tried and tested FUD for the purpose of advertising dollars. And we've seen websites pander to the /. effect before, and yet we still visit them whenever they post a "Linux sucks" or "Linux r00lz" story don't we?

    Maybe it is true, but I doubt it. After all, it doesn't really seem all that likely does it? Sure these places may have once run other OSes, but it has been Microsoft's policy to implement everything using Windows for several years now, and a sensible policy it is. They're not going to use competing products when their own is comaparible - it may be slightly less stable but it does perform better under heavy loads.

    What this sounds like at best is a bitter ex-employee spreading FUD about what MS companies are using, and at worst a blatent fabrication designed to pull in traffic. Yet another strike for internet "journalism".

  • What an incredibly short piece of crap. It's probably what the people said, but jeez... I would've enjoyed some more detail. I mean we don't even know if they are disgruntled ex-microserfs...

    This was like reading a junior high research paper.

    ----

  • by the_other_one ( 178565 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:27AM (#819974) Homepage

    The source will be fairly deep once his concrete shoes harden.

  • It's quite sad to see this "article" promoted on \. because it's just a piece of pure Microsoft bashing relying on half trues and some blatant lies.

    Internally when Windows 2000 was announced, people were told not to even think about using it for production because it was too unstable

    Whoa, then I must have dreamt when ALL the internal production servers and domain controllers (on the thousands and all around the world) were upgraded, not only to the final version but to several interim betas too.

    About having services running on non-Windows systems it's a well known fact that some efforts were put on migrating Hotmail but it didn't turn out to be straightforward. However, the current migration using Windows 2000 is under way with good results.

    As far as I know MSN runs on Windows 2000. The same goes for big revenue generators like www.expedia.com and other "smaller" sites such as www.carpoint.com or www.sidewalk. Not mentioning www.microsoft.com that gets a good amount of hits per day.

    So please, if you want to some Microsoft bashing, at least get your facts right.

  • by ch-chuck ( 9622 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:28AM (#819979) Homepage
    they use Unix in CD manufacturing - they brag about it in at least one page as that's how they ensure the CD's are free of viri....
  • the SEC requires that public companies disclose "material" information about the company, information that shareholders have the right to know because it impacts the value of the shares.

    Isn't this highly material information?

  • True, Microsoft should be using their own stuff, but what about the case where they buy up an existing company which uses FreeBSD? If they were smart, they'd probably just leave things as is (if it isn't broken, don't fix it).

    If the user base and load are growing, what ain't broke today will be tomorrow. If they really believe their product is better, they should switch over. I have to credit MS there, at least they seem to believe their claims about NT vs. Unix.

  • All this proves is the first-line servers are using a Windows operating system.

    You'll note that a 302 redirect respose is returned by www.microsoft.com - it's the addresses that you're redirected to that are the interesting ones (of the form lc?.law?.hotmail.com).

    The following script will test those:

    #!/bin/bash
    rm -f /var/tmp/hotmail
    i=0
    while [ "$i" -lt 100 ]
    do
    lynx -head -dump http://www.hotmail.com/ > /var/tmp/hotmail-first
    lynx -head -dump `grep '^Location:' /var/tmp/hotmail-first | cut -f 2 -d ' '` >> /var/tmp/hotmail
    echo $i
    i=$((i+1))
    done

    grep '^Server:' /var/tmp/hotmail | sort | uniq -c

    However the result is the same - 100% IIS.
  • I much prefer the flair of Me/Win2k over linux anyday. No CLI, i don't want one. No painfull XF86config, i don't want that.

    Games work out of the box. DirectX and OpenGL have been stable for a while now.

    Virtual Private Networking works out of the box. I don't have to drive to work to do maintenance on my HP Box (yes, i love Oracle on HP UX 11 boxen).

    For my home PC i want my Multimedia, Streaming audio/video. I want my DVD player to work as a DVD player. I don't want to have to compile or crack software to make it work either.

    I like being able to use USB scanners/camera's and media devices.

    Win2k/WinNT make GREAT file servers that will run forever if you give it the same respect as you would any other server.

    Reason most NT/Win systems fudge up is because of all the CRAP people put on them. If you want a webserver then an NT box running web/email/pop will stay up forever. Don't go installing a bunch of crap. Same goes for a linux box. Install a bunch of crap, get stuck in "lib hell" instead of dll hell and your on the same boat.

    But yes. Unix solutions and NT solutions still differ BUT microsoft is making that difference alot smaller and alot faster then any other OS is.

    I'm sorry, but the market share for Windows is HUGE. I wish HP would lower there prices on Unix systems as well as sun.

  • by Undocumented ( 225683 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:29AM (#819989) Homepage
    This article is pretty sparse, there is no meat or fact here. That being said, I do think that it is extremely probable that M$ is using various unices for those services.

    Personally, I think the sad fact, is like most big corporations, they lie about it in order to sell more product.

    How many upeer managment board room meetings across the world do you think there have been, with some MS Sales Engineer or such present, saying yep, we run all of "insert service/site here" on NT 4.0, when in reality it was bullshit.

    I think M$ has gone the backwards road in development, they have refined and refined the UI, but the core of the OS'es ahve suffered. Most Unices on the other hand, ahve a very stable core with (name UI) stuck on top.

    Arguably, some *nix's are better than others with the UI, but it is becomming more and more where the UI is completely independant of the nix underneath, I mean hell, I have helix-code gnome running on my Ultra 10, because I like it better than CDE (crappy desktop environment??)

  • How deep is the source ??? can anyone verify how much of this is true ?

    What do you mean? It bashes Microsoft, it glorifies open source, it MUST be true !-)

    ----
  • by Asikaa ( 207070 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:31AM (#820001) Homepage
    - If Michael Dell carries a Thinkpad...
    - If Scott McNealy gives the orders from behind a Deskpro...
    - If Larry Ellison runs any Access databases "strictly for prototyping"...

  • by sillysally ( 193936 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:32AM (#820003)
    it's fine to be skeptical, and of course "the internet" (Slashdot? :) is full of junk, but if you try submitting a tip to Infoworld or PCWeek you'll discover: they call you, and they call around and verify before publishing: I've been through it. Just because they write in the column "anonymous source" should not imply that they are just printing an answering machine message.
  • Your reading of the BNF in the RFC is incorrect. I do see two CRLFs, because TWO are required. The definition of Status-Line REQUIRES a CRLF, and the definition of Full-Response REQUIRES both a Status-Line and another CRLF.

    If you're still with me, 1 CRLF + 1 CRLF = 2 CRLFs. Have a nice day.

    Aside from that, the response claims HTTP/1.1, so it is governed by RFC 2616, not RFC 1945.

  • How could I have forgotten to point out that your interpretation of the request BNF is ALSO wrong. A HEAD request cannot be a Simple-Request, it is a Full-Request. The Full request contains a Request-Line and a CRLF, at least. The Request-Line also contains a CRLF, so again the request MUST have two CRLF, and the server MUST wait for both CRLF before responding.

    Whoever taught you to read BNF should be ashamed.

  • you're wrong about (1) and (2); www.hotmail.com does indeed have these bugs. I've checked with socket(1) (an older netcat-equivalent program), and ran strace on it just to make sure. here's the relevant strace output:

    write(4, "HEAD / HTTP/1.0\r\n", 17) = 17
    select(5, [0 4], NULL, NULL, NULL) = 1 (in [4])
    read(4, "HTTP/1.1 302 Redirected\r\nServer: Microsoft-IIS/5.0\r\nDate: Tue, 29 Aug 2000 16:55:03 GMT\r\nLocation: http://lc2.law5.hotmail.passport.com/cgi-bin/login \r\n", 1024) = 151
    select(5, [0 4], NULL, NULL, NULL) = 1 (in [4])
    read(4, "", 1024) = 0

    notice how the server responds after the first \r\n from the client (when it's supposed to wait for \r\n\r\n, which signals the end of the HTTP headers), and how it only includes one \r\n at the end of its response, when it's supposed to include two (again, to signal the end of the http headers). www.hotmail.com right now (29Aug00, 1pm EST) is totally screwing up the http protocol.

    Oh, and (3) is right too: if I send "HTTP/1.1" instead of "HTTP/1.0" it does exactly the same, pretends in its answer to be speaking HTTP/1.1, and still doesn't include the Connection: header.

  • of Netcraft.

    Hotmail is now showing they run Windows 2000, however that is new in the last few weeks. Which means their entry server(s) are running 2000 and the rest of it is FreeBSD, like it always has been. If not, there would surely be lots of promotional garbage about how quickly Microsoft converted hotmail to W2K.

    bcentrals ad server is linkexchange, www.linkexchange.com, which you can verify by going to bcentral and right-clicking an ad. Netcraft still shows their servers running FreeBSD.

    I have confirmed this story far more than I can confirm your 'bitter ex-employee' conjecture. Oh wait, didn't I see you on one of the troll sids?

  • RAID isn't a source control product, it's a bug tracking system.
  • by Jeffrey Baker ( 6191 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @08:40AM (#820016)
    Wrong. It's a bug in IIS, no question.
  • MySQL is fun to play with, with all the zombies. I got a Level 24 Knight with a charge attack of 82 and def of 129! I killed the zombie king at the end of quest 4 in world 8 and it is still fun. MySQL kicks ass. Anyone want to trade a level 24 sword of fire (75 attack with 21 fire damage) for any decent helm that has over 23 def?
  • by MartinG ( 52587 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:34AM (#820023) Homepage Journal
    Firstly, I hate Microsoft and most of the software they produce.

    But... Has anyone stopped to ask why these ppl no longer work there? Perhaps they were sacked? Maybe they weren't up to scratch? Who knows, maybe they are trying to get "revenge" on MS by exaggerating the truth about what goes on inside Redmond.

    Don't get me wrong, I would dearly love for this claims to be backed up so I could be childish for a few minutes and say "told you so" to some of my pro-ms workmates, but I hardly think we can just take the word of a few ex-employees who (as far as we know) might bear a grudge against their ex-employer.
  • nothing.
    Kind of like the cost of freebsd.
    0!0
  • Let's see how well Hotmail functions now. Not a flame, I'm just curious to see some real world comparisons between FreeBSD and Win2K.

    Does this case really compare between the OSes? There are lots of other implementation issues that could affect the result.

    It is actually possible to build reliable and scalable systems based on Windows 2000. Barnes and Noble is a pure MS shop (web servers, database, everything) and they seem to be doing quite well. I prefer *nix because I like the *nix way of doing things and command line power. But it's mostly a cultural difference, not one platform that is inherently better than the other.


    ----
  • by madhusud ( 162194 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:34AM (#820027) Homepage
    Just because we would all love to believe that Windows 2000 really sucks so bad that Microsoft itself won't use, we can't fall for every other ex-Microsoft employee's statement. I have used Win2k myself, and it is way more stable than anything from Microsoft so far. On the other hand, this just might be the occasion for somebody in MS to speak up and tell us exactly what kind of software they are using for all their net initiatives, Madhu
  • by Nagash ( 6945 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:35AM (#820030) Homepage
    This article is so anecdotal, I have a hard time believing it, as nice as it would be. For one thing, the article is entirely disjointed (what does Oracle's second in commnad have to do with this?) and the "evidence" reads like something from the Weekly World News.

    The stories from the article seem more like disgruntled employees taking truths and turning them into half-truths. Everybody does it - especially kids. It's a rather natural thing to do when annoyed with something. "It's the worst meal I've ever had!" "They played Yanni, like, 100 hours every day!", etc.

    I think that some is this is true (MS probably does use lots of Unices) but to take this as hard fact would be irresponsible. Still, it's rather amusing and would be great if it were indeed true.

    Woz
  • by Jerky McNaughty ( 1391 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:35AM (#820032)
    True, Microsoft should be using their own stuff, but what about the case where they buy up an existing company which uses FreeBSD? If they were smart, they'd probably just leave things as is (if it isn't broken, don't fix it). But what amazes me, is that they just try to move everything to Windows.

    Look at it this way. Let's say Windows 2000 was just as reliable as FreeBSD (or Linux or whatever). What would moving it from FreeBSD to Windows 2000 do for them? Really, nothing. The end user won't know the difference. If I just moved stuff around here at work from OS to OS on a whim, I'd probably be (rightfully) fired.

    I just don't understand Microsoft most of the time.
  • by alcohollins ( 64804 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:36AM (#820034)
    Unix is alive and well at MS.

    Here's the link to the MS knowledge base article [microsoft.com] you speak of..

  • Yeah great. It is very instructive to note that the IIS 5.0 server running www.hotmail.com has three serious bugs in its HTTP implementation.
    • 1: It send the response after the first \n in the request
    • 2: It sends only one newline at the end of the response.
    • 3: It does not send 'Connection: close' when it closes the connection.

    Witness the magnificence of this wonderful web server:

    Trying 209.185.243.135...
    Connected to www.hotmail.com.
    Escape character is '^]'.
    HEAD / HTTP/1.0
    HTTP/1.1 302 Redirected
    Server: Microsoft-IIS/5.0
    Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2000 15:45:07 GMT
    Location: http://lc2.law5.hotmail.passport.com/cgi-bin/login
    Connection closed by foreign host.

    For almost a month, these bugs prevented Mozilla users from going to http://www.hotmail.com/. Nice product, Bill!

  • anyone care to run one of those tcp signature OS-guessing programs on www.hotmail.com?

    I've just tried that (using nmap [insecure.org]). But we don't get much info:

    TCP Sequence Prediction: Class=truly random
    Difficulty=9999999 (Good luck!)
    Remote operating system guess: Cisco Localdirector 430, running OS 2.1
  • >Apple did move OS X Server into the load pool for
    > www.apple.com a while back, then they took it
    >out again. Not the best advertising for your
    >"industryial strength" server software.

    But, the question is: has Apple been advertising OS X Server as such? To my knowledge, the answer is no. Apple has been advertising OS X Server as a low end server for a small business or... say... a classroom of fifty iMacs. At no point have I seen an Apple ad calling OS X ""industryial strength" server software.".

    The advertising for micro$oft, OTOH, has, at the direction of gates and his minions, for years been telling us that *NIX, Oracle, and Apache, etc. is utter and absolute shit, and that the whole world would be an infinitely better place if we all switched to windoze, access, and iis, etc.; because the micro$oft alternatives are superior to the alternatives in every conceivable way.

    john
    Resistance is NOT futile!!!

    Haiku:
    I am not a drone.
    Remove the collective if

  • How could I have forgotten to point out that your interpretation of the request BNF is ALSO wrong. A HEAD request cannot be a Simple-Request, it is a Full-Request. The Full request contains a Request-Line and a CRLF, at least. The Request-Line also contains a CRLF, so again the request MUST have two CRLF, and the server MUST wait for both CRLF before responding.
    Whoever taught you to read BNF should be ashamed.


    From RFC 1945:

    8.2 HEAD

    The HEAD method is identical to GET except that the server must not return any Entity-Body in the response. The metainformation contained in the HTTP headers in response to a HEAD request should be identical to the information sent in response to a GET request. This method can be used for obtaining metainformation about the resource identified by the Request-URI without transferring the Entity-Body itself. This method is often used for testing hypertext links for validity, accessibility, and recent modification.


    So... that's NO entity body.

    From RFC 2068:

    9.4 HEAD

    The HEAD method is identical to GET except that the server MUST NOT
    return a message-body in the response. The metainformation contained
    in the HTTP headers in response to a HEAD request SHOULD be identical
    to the information sent in response to a GET request. This method can
    be used for obtaining metainformation about the entity implied by the
    request without transferring the entity-body itself. This method is
    often used for testing hypertext links for validity, accessibility,
    and recent modification.


    And that's NO message-body.

    ... and from RFC2068:


    Note: certain buggy HTTP/1.0 client implementations generate an extra CRLF's after a POST request. To restate what is explicitly forbidden by the BNF, an HTTP/1.1 client must not preface or follow a request with an extra CRLF.


    Less of the insults. More study. There's a good chap.

    If you want to continue this debate, please post references to the exact part of the spec that you think claims that it requires CRLFCRLF after a request.

    Simon

  • Before all the comments start to fly about how it is good that Microsoft is willing to use products other than their own, I'd like to remind everyone of the theory of eating your own dog food. Companies, no matter how large or small, should all be willing to use their own product if they insist other people should use it. I had (had being they key word here) done WinNT support for quite some time and never once did I hear Microsoft customer support say anything along the lines of "it might be better if you used Oracle instead of Microsoft SQL for this project." Microsoft has constantly pushed their products, no matter how unstable or under-equipped, as the end all be all solution for every problem. The fact that they are unable to use their own products to support services that they own and administer clearly illustrates the poor quality of their products. How much faith would you have in Apache [apache.org] if you learned that they were running IIS [microsoft.com] on their webservers instead of their own product? Articles such as this should be staple reading for anyone wishing to switch to an NT shop.
  • >NT costs more to purchase (if you're not Microsoft) than FreeBSD/Linux, yes. But NT costs less to maintain for most companies.

    Do you have any PROOF of this statement?

    The $30,000 number you give is suspect for most markets, so your whole claim is likely bogus.
  • by Pascal of S ( 23541 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:37AM (#820055) Homepage
    If Microsoft *acquired* these websites and tried to port them to NT/W2K/SQL/whatever and they fail, might that just mean that porting them MAY not be economical? I can imagin that a certain marketing division wants to how much effort it would take to port, they draw a conclusion after two months that it's not economical.
    some other exec decides 'Lets just be quiet about it not being run on MS software and make money along the way.'

    There are probably lots of projects that start as VB/NT which would be equally hard to port. Most of the time, it's probably just not worth it. Documentation is probably sparse at best for these projects, a complete rewrite would require you to reverse engineer a (probably) complex project, which is hard. The next problem would be that the guys who know most about the system probably don't (want to) speak VB/ASP, leaving the building of the project in the hands of people who haven't done it before.

    Ego-satisfaction is not always enough cause to burn money.
  • by Talonius ( 97106 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:37AM (#820057)
    Microsoft has aimed their software at the "enterprise level." I disagree with that. Their use of Unix internally (and we all know it's true, with or without disgruntled ex-employee corroboration) simply shows their software is *not* ready for the billion dollar enterprise.

    Don't get me wrong, it's a decent workstation OS, and their products are excellent for the small to medium business who doesn't have time to hire and/or support an entire IT department around Unix. (Please don't flame me with "such and such" is easy to setup and configure under Unix. Installing Unix [and Linux] is still beyond the task of most normal people, okay?) It simply wasn't built from the beginning with enterprise scalability and reliability in mind, and there's way too much legacy code being dragged around to make it stable. (You can argue whether Microsoft supports that legacy code as a customer support initiative or simply to lock you in to their systems; that's up in the air. [Consider: Windows 2000 breaks all existing apps. You now have a clear chance to break free and use something entirely different, or stay within Microsoft. You choose, but the normal effect of throwing away years of legacy code by leaving Microsoft no longer matters.])

    Anyway, my opinion is that Microsoft's stuff is good for the small to mid sized business, not the enterprise level business. Microsoft itself is an enterprise business. Thus, it cannot use its own products. What's wrong with that? Their IT department are the only people who have half a brain and make decisions based on information other than marketing? *shrug* Okay.

    -- Talonius
  • Next time think before opening your mouth and showing the entirety of slashdot what a moron you are.
  • Aside from that, the response claims HTTP/1.1, so it is governed by RFC 2616, not RFC 1945.

    Actually, the HEAD command states HTTP/1.0 -- the response status code is governed by an entirely different mechanism:


    Your reading of the BNF in the RFC is incorrect. I do see two CRLFs, because TWO are required. The definition of Status-Line REQUIRES a CRLF, and the definition of Full-Response REQUIRES both a Status-Line and another CRLF.
    If you're still with me, 1 CRLF + 1 CRLF = 2 CRLFs. Have a nice day.

    Aside from that, the response claims HTTP/1.1, so it is governed by RFC 2616, not RFC 1945.


    An HTTP server SHOULD send a response version equal to the highest
    version for which the server is at least conditionally compliant, and
    whose major version is less than or equal to the one received in the
    request. An HTTP server MUST NOT send a version for which it is not
    at least conditionally compliant. A server MAY send a 505 (HTTP
    Version Not Supported) response if cannot send a response using the
    major version used in the client's request.

    An HTTP server MAY send a lower response version, if it is known or
    suspected that the client incorrectly implements the HTTP
    specification, but this should not be the default, and this SHOULD
    NOT be done if the request version is HTTP/1.1 or greater.


    The format of the response is for HTTP/1.0 -- governed by the HEAD command's requested version number. The version of the response is HTTP/1.1, indicating the version of the server. This is all perfectly valid until HTTP/1.2 comes out.

    Simon
  • by Luminous ( 192747 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:39AM (#820062) Journal
    I'm no fan of Microsoft, but I like to think critical thinking applies to all walks of life. If this article was meant to be an expose, and the employees didn't want to be named for fear of lawsuit or reprisal, then at least we should know what they did for Microsoft. Are these people janitors, summer interns, accounting clerks, mailroom clerks, or programmers? Where is the memo or email from the executives saying not to use Windows 2000 for production because it is too unstable?

    Hotmail and Linkexchange were both purchased by Microsoft. Trying to move massive applications like that over to different OS's is a massive undertaking with a large chance of consumer disruption. In my time in the IT field, I've gone through a few data conversions and minor system uprgrades to enterprise systems -- nothing like a Hotmail conversion, but it took months followed by months of testing to make sure it worked. Except for the bad PR, there isn't an urgent reason to move these services to a Win2K platform. It'll occur, just not immediately.

    I don't know any of this as fact, but it seems to be a reasonable theory to me.

  • I used to be with Wang Global and was part of the team working on our internal Win2K during the beta period. I know for a fact that Microsoft had just finished their internal roll-out as we worked with them to help us prepare for ours.

    Don't believe everything you read....especially on /.
  • That's RFC 2145 by the way.

    Simon
  • Hmmm... well in that case, Apache's buggered too, because it responds on the first CRLF pair.

    telnet www.slashdot.org 80

    HEAD / HTTP/1.0

    HTTP/1.1 200 OK
    Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2000 19:35:36 GMT
    Server: Apache/1.3.12 (Unix) mod_perl/1.24
    Connection: close
    Content-Type: text/html

    Connection to host lost.
  • Got a URL for that one? I've been trying to work out exactly where I can get hold of a copy.

    Simon
  • by ebbv ( 34786 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:41AM (#820097) Homepage

    the point is they *should* have reason to move to windoze, or their product has no purpose. there's no way it can be cheaper than freebsd, so if it was merely equivallent, then it would be useless.

    as it is, it is /inferior/! which is even sadder, but no surprise to me. i've known this for years.
    ...dave
  • by skoda ( 211470 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @07:37AM (#820110) Homepage
    I've long suspected that Bill Gates doesn't actually use his own software, and this seems to confirm it (I'm not sure whether to use a :) or :/ or :( )

    This reminds me of my proposed punishment for the DOJ v. MS case: Require Bill Gates to write a >200 pg thesis and 45 min presentation using Win98 (not SE), 28.8 modem, P2-400, and Office 97 (not updated). The thesis must have figures, tables, equations, endnotes. It must be printed with page numbers on alternating sides for publishing. The presentation must be on overheads, produced with Powerpoint.

    He is free to download any software he wants from the 'net, or Windows Update via his dial-up connection. The only help he can get is from the MS website and other online sources.

    He can return to MS after this is done.

    That's my gentle punishment. My serious one is to force MS to use its own software for *everything*-- development, reports, and accounting purposes, etc.

    I suspect that their products would improve significantly after that.
    -----
    D. Fischer
  • by dvicci ( 22294 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:42AM (#820112) Homepage
    Look at it this way. Let's say Windows 2000 was just as reliable as FreeBSD (or Linux or whatever). What would moving it from FreeBSD to Windows 2000 do for them? Really, nothing.

    It would save them from having to employ people that know FreeBSD (or Linux or whatever), and allow them to support only one, rather than multiple O/S's. I can see the benefits of maintaining a single O/S shop. It may not MAKE them money, but it could SAVE them money (which can easily be translated to making it later).
  • by mindstrm ( 20013 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:43AM (#820113)
    True.
    But it's not hard to believe. THey aren't saying that their internal stuff all runs unix.. they are saying that things that were designed and previously run by companies who were assimilated by microsoft used unix, and microsoft could'nt migrate away.

    Of course if they develop new services they are going to do it on NT.

  • by Noryungi ( 70322 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:43AM (#820116) Homepage Journal
    I fail to see the interest of this piece.

    First of all, despite the respect I have for Infoworld, you have t oadmit that "Robert X. Cringely" is a gossip columnist, not a "serious" journalist like Nick Petreley or the Security Column guys.

    Then, it has been public knowledge for very long that Hotmail and others rely on either FreeBSD or another (proprietary) *NIX. That this has been a constant source of embarassement to M$, and a constant source of gloating from the *BSD/free-software-as-in-speech camp.

    IMHO, this story should have appeared (at best) as a quickie, not as a full-blown story. It would be much more interesting to have reliable info (any info) on how the Hotmail migration from FreeBSD to Win2K is going.

    This opinion, is, of course, exactly worth what you paid to read it... =)
  • by sillysally ( 193936 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:44AM (#820125)
    Oh, and for the thousandth time FUD does not mean "negative gossip". It means announcements made by a major/monopoly player about future product plans, announcements that are presented as "helpful for customer planning" but which also have the effect of throwing an aura of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt around any decision to use a competitors product.

    As an example, Windows itself was originally FUD. VisiCorp was demoing a windowing OS layer called VisiOn at a tradeshow. BillG, still pushing DOS 2 and at that time making only modest plans to screw partner Apple on the Mac "mouse" interface, was humiliated that another company was in the limelight. So Microsoft announced "Windows". Only after he got back to Bellevue did the project get launched. Microsoft was a smaller player at the time, but it had already established itself as the OS company, with an attitude, and the future of VisiOn was thrown into doubt.

    Only companies with a dominence in some area can practice FUD.

  • by ebbv ( 34786 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:48AM (#820159) Homepage

    By this logic Harley-Davidson should use their motorcycles to haul motorcycles to dealers instead of using big trucks

    harley does not advertise that their bikes can tow things.

    m$ makes claims that everyone should run some form of Windoze, for every possible situation.

    that is the difference and the reason why this is a funny article (though as i said in another post, no revelation to those of us who have experience w/windoze and various forms of *nix.)
    ...dave
  • by kawika ( 87069 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @04:03AM (#820169)
    Cringely columns usually get their info from unauthenticated emails, which makes them potentially as reliable as a an Emulex press release. However, the basic info on where MS runs Unix--mostly through companies they've acquired--has been discussed in a few places. What business-minded person really thinks it's a good idea to spend scarce technical resources to reimplement a complex system on Windows 2000 just to spite Unix?

    Be careful on interpreting the Windows 2000 comment though; the product was announced over a year ago, and it certainly wasn't ready for prime time then. I currently manage three web servers and a MS SQL server that run Windows 2000 and I can tell you it's an improvement from NT.
  • by elegant7x ( 142766 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2000 @12:10PM (#820170)
    ma?

    Amber Yuan 2k A.D
  • by Carnage4Life ( 106069 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:50AM (#820181) Homepage Journal
    I know a few people that have worked there and a bunch of them are proficient in *nix and also are smart enough to realize when their products are inadequate. Here's a conversation I had with a friend.

    me: So how do you guys manage to use Visual Studio Source Safe to manage all those millions of lines of code in Win2K and Office?

    friend: we don't.

    These same people admit that NT sucks [but evangelize on Win2K]. Frankly I can believe that internal memos circulated about the stability of Win 2K, after all didn't it once have 65,000 known issues [slashdot.org].

    It seems that MSFT employees simply choose the best tool for the job, and if it isn't their product, tough shit. Frankly I respect them for this a lot more than most rabid slashdotters who can't admit that Linux/Unix is not the end-all and be-all of computing and sometimes Windows or a Windows application would be a better choice.


    (-1 Troll)
  • by gabrieltss ( 64078 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:50AM (#820182)
    The article failed to mention that MS's back office systems are run on IBM AS/400's. This is a well known fact in the IBM circles. MS runs about 20+ AS/400's. Having been in the IT world for too long I figured I should let this be known. I am surprised this "ex" employee failed to mention this! I am somewhat suspicioius that only the Unices were mentioned and not the AS/400's. Was there some alterior motives in this "ex" employee by only mentioning Unices? I don't know... The fact about MS using AS/400's has been circulated lots of times in the AS400 usenet newsgroup.

    I find it funny how many non-MS systems MS actually runs!

  • by FascDot Killed My Pr ( 24021 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:50AM (#820185)
    The example Unix/Linux systems are all "infrastructure"--that is, they aren't just standalone machines dedicated to a task (like a CD press could be). But MS is well-known for making it *ahem* difficult to integrate Windows with Unix (cf Kerberos). So how does the internal IS/IT group handle this? I wonder if Microsoft's IS department hates W2k as much as all other IS groups do?
    --
  • by deusx ( 8442 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @04:04AM (#820190) Homepage
    What would moving it from FreeBSD to Windows 2000 do for them?

    You really don't understand Microsoft, do you? See, you're thinking like a rational, clearheaded engineer. (And not a marketer) :)

    Right now, they can't say anything like "All of our sites are 100% Powered by Windows [tm]", they have to admit that a good portion of their holdings are run on That Other Family of OS'es-- or not say anything at all.

    Will an end user know a difference? Hell yes, it'll be crowed about daily, and little wavy-windows stickers will be all over every site. The fact that you are currently viewing a banner ad for cheese that is "Brought to You by Windows [tm]" will be drummed into your head. Every email on Hotmail you read will say, "Courtesy of Microsoft Windows [tm]".

    ...and when they've bought every company, and finally get around to buying some plumbing companies, the toilet will cheer for Windows every time you flush.

    This, my friend, is what Marketers dream of. I'm glad that they only make it about halfway.

  • by semis ( 14252 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @04:06AM (#820195) Homepage
    According to this [slashdot.org] poll, 30% of readers spend most of their time in a windows environment.
    And according to this [slashdot.org] poll, 73% of readers run more than one OS on their machine. I bet most of these people are dual booting windows.

    Before everyone screams and yells "hurrah! haha M$ uses unix!", just sober up on these statistics. Microsoft may not be able to rid itself from UNIX, but many of us certainly can't rid ourselves of Windows!

  • by JordanH ( 75307 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @03:53AM (#820203) Homepage Journal
    • True, Microsoft should be using their own stuff, but what about the case where they buy up an existing company which uses FreeBSD? If they were smart, they'd probably just leave things as is (if it isn't broken, don't fix it).

    If they were smart, they wouldn't be Microsoft. :-)

    But seriously, it's hypocritical of them NOT to move them with all possible haste on to their own platforms. They are telling their customers to do just this, every day. If the move from "legacy" (non-Windows in the Microsoft lexicon) to Windows doesn't have huge benefits that easily justifies the porting effort, then their marketing is just a sham.

    I'm really surprised that they don't move more aggressively to port those systems to Windows. I would think any potential service interruptions (and reasonably, there would be some with any large migration) would be much less embarrassing than the continued reminder that their marketing promises are just so much bull.


    -Jordan Henderson

  • by XNormal ( 8617 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @04:10AM (#820219) Homepage
    About a month ago a Slashdot article [slashdot.org] reported that some Windows 2000 machines have been introduced into to the Hotmail load-balancing pool.

    One poster has used the following script to verify this:

    #!/bin/bash
    i=0
    while [ "$i" -lt 100 ]
    do
    lynx -head -dump http://www.hotmail.com/ >> /var/tmp/hotmail
    i=$((i+1))
    done
    grep Server /var/tmp/hotmail | sort | uniq -c

    Results:

    95 Server: Apache/1.3.6 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.2.8 SSLeay/0.9.0b
    5 Server: Microsoft-IIS/5.0

    I have just run this script again and got only IIS. It looks like the assim^H^H^H^H^Hconversion of Hotmail to Windows 2000 is now complete.


    ----
  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2000 @04:11AM (#820225) Homepage Journal
    To be fair, conversion projects are a pain in the ass. Converting from Oracle/Solaris to Sql Server/NT may or may not be a viable proposition from a performance stand point, but the switch is certainly not transparent from an application standpoint.

    For one thing, Oracle's SQL is only ANSI SQL 92 ENTRY LEVEL compliant. They have weird, non-ansi ways of doing things like outer joins, so you'll have to recode anything that uses those constructs. If your application uses PL/SQL at all you'll have to recode those pieces too. Plus there's all the new regression testing of the gluish sorts of layers between the application and the database you'll have to do. Plus redoing all the things that depend upon services that one environment supplies but not another, or which one environment does differently than another (e.g. Apache modules like mod_rewrite and mod_include).

    So -- if you are buying a company for its applications, it simply doesn't make business sense to make a platform switch that means you'll have to recode and retest everything. Especially if you are trying to retain customer loyalty to a service they expect to be running with relatively few glitches day in, day out. At best its like doing open heart surgery on a patient while he is running a marathon.

    As far as Windows 2000 being to unstable to work with, that's a hearsay by an ex-employee reporting on hearsay from a manager whose company was acquired and probably didn't want to have several years of accomplishments under Unix chucked out.

    Thus far the world has not exactly been rushing to embrace Win2K, so reports on its quality in that kind of environment are rather sparse. However, even in this information vacuum, this kind of FUD is utterly useless. What matters are the actual experiences of real users, not third hand reports of somebody's rather unsubstantiated opinion.

    Frankly, I think windows is shit. But I don't believe in dropping to the level of the other side to argue that point.

Dreams are free, but you get soaked on the connect time.

Working...