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Corel-Microsoft Deal Means Potential .NET for Linux 166

Thanks to Scott McNeil for pointing out that in the SEC filing concerning the recent Microsoft investment in Corel that it grants Microsoft the /option/ for the next three years to have Corel port the .NET framework or portions by assigning at least 20 full time developers and 10 full time testers - or the equivalent thereof. Now, it is an option, but that's interesting that it's in there. It's Point 3 of the section I linked to.
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Corel-Microsoft Deal Means Potential .NET for Linux

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  • by Eponymous Coward ( 6097 ) on Thursday October 12, 2000 @06:20AM (#712217)
    The more I read about .NET, the more I like it. The commonly advice "use the right tool for the job" seems to suggest using something exactly like .NET and its CLR. In a large project, ML may be the best tool for some portions, JAVA/C# for others, and maybe C++ for still other portions. With the CLR, it's easy to pick the best tool for the job. This is reason enough for me to investigate it a little further and hope for something similar on Linux.

  • Look, SOAP is a protocol. I read the other day that IBM has a Lixux beta of SOAP-based web services available. Try reading the SOAP proposed spec []. Microsoft is just one member of this spec. So is IBM and lotus.

    to quote: "SOAP does not itself define any application semantics such as a programming model or implementation specific semantics; rather it defines a simple mechanism for expressing application semantics by providing a modular packaging model and encoding mechanisms for encoding data within modules."

    It is a standard way of doing functions over the Internet thru HTTP. On port 80 (i.e., through firewalls). Instead of spending time (or money) getting our shipping calculator to talk to fedex instead of UPS, they just publish a web service, and I use it like a function. In VB, in Perl, whatever. I'm sorry, but this is a BIG DEAL, and microsoft is playing nice with lots of other folks to do it right. Deal with it.
  • Corel must release .NET compliant versions, and may release non-.NET versions (as long as they assign enough resources to the .NET version}.

    Section 4 does not give Corel a license.

    The foregoing covenant does not constitute a patent license to Corel, and except as explicitly set forth above, Microsoft does not, directly or by implication, estoppel or otherwise, grant any other patent covenants or patent rights under this Agreement.
    Microsoft is simply promising not to sue Corel over those patents until Corel is sold, tries to transfer rights or sues MS -- Including for anti-trust violations. If you add in section 5 (unconditional surrender of any legal rights WRT past MS actions), it's kinda like:
    You give me your gun and put on these handcuffs. I'll put my uzi on safety (for a while).

  • According to nasdaq Corel's share went up sharply
    early october to take a dive a few days later.
    Whoever bought millions of shares of Corel
    then made a killing as the shares doubled in value.

    I wonder who dumped those millions of shares as
    the price went up to $6 a share from close to
    $3.50 a share.

    The share have now gone back up a bit.

  • 3 years ago, this is how I said Microsoft would destroy Linux.

    Windows is not important, it's not the OS that gives Microsoft it's power anymore. Microsoft GOT there originally from it's OS market domination, but now it's the PLATFORM. All they have to do is move the PLATFORM over to other OSes. What I didn't forsee is them integrating it all with the internet/ASP-plan thing.

    Of course, Apple/NeXT could have done this with OpenStep (Yellowbox for Windows) and WebObjects two years ago. But they don't seem interested in world domination so much anymore. They could still do it, but it looks like Motorola is doing all they can to stall Apple on it's native platform. (PPC).
  • I think you're having a hard time seperating the marketing hype from the technical architecture that .Net represents. Developing web based applications using the .Net framework doesn't have anything to do (directly) with 'renting' software. It's merely a technical framework that allows developers to quickly build scaleable, distributed web based applications.

    Using PHP doesn't lock you into not charging for the use of a web based application just because it's a free, open source technical.

  • That Bill I am that Bill I am, I do not like that Bill I am. Say, do you like .NET? I do not like .NET. I will not in C Sharp, I will not on a lark. I do not like it so you see. Try them, try them and you may. Try them and you may I say. Hmmmm, , Oooh I do so like .NET, I will code in C Sharp, I will do it for a lark. Now that you've tried it you must pay. You must pay and pay I say. Upgrades are on the way. Incompatible upgrades that may break your day.
  • how is .NET a technological break?

    It's basically just OLE/COM/DCOM/DNA repackaged to look like Java.
  • Controlling the servers alone doesn't work.

    Look at the ones who failed that route;
    Linux (sort of)

    Look at the ones who've failed because they only controlled the desktop;
    Apple (sort of)

    Windows has the magic formula, desktop, low-end server, and commodity hardware.
  • Yeah, I was mildly aware of that when I posted.

    So the question is: When are you Unix boys going to use DCE to start reverse engineering the Exchange wire protocol? (grin - it looks like it costs $100,000 to redistribute...)
  • Thanks for that well-reasoned rebuttal from a MicroSquish shill.

    We've already been down this road, with every luser on the net trying to send us mail in a proprietary microsquish format (Word 6 attachements, anyone?)

  • Come on Linux already is fully capable of doing .NET . .NET is nothing more than a fancy way of saying SOAP which is the underlying base of the .NET architecture. The original specification was XML-RPC which was enhanced to the new SOAP standard. SOAP is already implemented in both PERL and PYTHON so .NET is already here someone just has to use it. As for M$, I see them exploiting the binary implementation to break or disallow compatibility.
  • Flinging childish insults like "Microsoft is not dumb but you are" does not help the validity of your argument. I think I am speaking for most of the /. readers when I say that we know what windows 9.x is designed for and therefore do not need a lesson on the user targets of a particular OS. I do concur that Bill probably doesn't use a Linux based system and may have never even touched one. As for you other comments about various other matters you truly show how foolish you are. You say "Windows 2000 is superior to Linux (sic) because it's (sic) compatible with more hardware and software and is rock solid". I cannot disagree with you more Windows 2000 is superior to Linux because it has a file system that is less susceptible to corruption and for ease of use reasons. Linux on the other hand is superior to Windows 2000 for numerous other reasons including stability or if you will, rock solidity to use your words. You could also include security, scalability, performance, Networking, Standards, Interoperability, ect. After that little fiasco of misinformation you go on to say. "Yet why would anyone want to regress back into the '70 with Unix style computing?(sic)". My response to this is that even Apple has come around to the Shell way of thinking. In any other since I don't see how you can derive Unix is a 70 style computing environment. It is funny that most individuals are realizing that there are benefits to having both a Shell and a GUI. These individuals have shaped the face of modern computing with this in mind. Most Unix flavors have a Shell and a GUI so for purposes of this argument they can be considered to be modern. There are many other aspects that make an OS modern that would take to long to list and trust me both Windows and The Unix flavors incorporate these aspects into their systems. Please remember that most of the Unix community graduated to Unix from a Windows basis so we are familiar with the ins and outs of the Windows family of systems. The contrary cannot be noted for Windows users, as most Windows users such as yourself have never been exposed to Unix. Therefore a statement like "Linux zealots that beat off to this fantasy that Microsoft sucks" have basis as most Linux users have ample exposure to Windows to form an educated opinion about the OS. On the other hand statements such as the ones you have made stem from a fear that you precious MCSE will not be worth the paper it was printed on and are not grounded in fact. Because you cannot use Linux, you try to destroy it so that no one will know that you do not have the vaguest clue as to how an operating system really works.

    That being said I like the idea of the .NET platform moving to Linux. My reasoning for such a positive outlook on this is, that my company uses ASP, COM, and SQL if this took place, I could at least persuade them to move over to Linux for our OS needs. After that the may warm to the notion of J2EE.

  • Applications belong on a hard disk not a network.
    It will be a cold day in hell before they can take my hard disk away from me.
  • by LaNMaN2000 ( 173615 ) on Thursday October 12, 2000 @06:26AM (#712231) Homepage
    Believe me, I am the closest thing to a Microsoft fan/apologist that you will find on Slashdot. I am not bashing .NET simply because MS makes it; I am bashing .net because it, combined with Passport, will give MS far too much access to users' personal information.

    Hotmail alone has 60 million registered users. Windows sells hundreds of millions of copies. With .net, Microsoft will not only be able to track user behavior across its web network, it will have a comprehensive database of every Windows user's preferences--right down to what wallpaper he uses on his desktop.

    The registry concept was pretty cool, because it allowed network administrators to standardize and modify desktop configuration settings remotely. That was a good feature that MS developed. However, putting this power in the hands of MS or malicious Internet users is not a good feature. Besides, MS has no right to compile a database of my preferences simply because I use Windows.
  • What would happen if (very big IF) MS actually start producing Linux software that is well wrote and shows off what Linux can do? Would the Linux community snub any software simply because of who created it? or would they be more impartial and judge the software on its merits? Can practicality overrule principle?
  • "We hate to admit it by ie 4.5 mac (very very different than windows internet explorer) is the best browser on the mac..."

    Not hardly. OmniWeb, the browser that Netscape studied to copy the features that MicroSquick then copied in turn, is available for Mac OS X, and it kick's IE's ass.

  • suggest that would make a Corel port of the .NET frame work poor quality?

    Not on purpose, just they dont have the wherewithall to do it properly.

    The .NET framework and CLR have no VM

    Gee it's nice to be pedantic.

    If you agree that a VM is tough to build, then you'll agree that a CLR would be tougher to build, seeing as it's more complex than a VM.

  • long as it is free...
    noone cares who wrote it
    But Microsoft will never produce Software under the Terms of the GPL so forget it.
  • About a week or so ago I posted the original news about the SEC filings. I guess you really have to be someone to be posted on /.
  • Look, SOAP is a protocol. ... Try reading the SOAP proposed spec. ... It is a standard way of doing functions over the Internet thru HTTP. On port 80 (i.e., through firewalls).

    SOAP can be used with HTTP, but my reading of the spec is that that is just an example, not mandated. SOAP is mostly about using XML to represent data.

    Anyone who knows anything about firewalls also knows that port 80 is not the real issue. Using HTTP or HTTP/SSL many, but not all, people can get out through a firewall around their organisation, to at least some sites. If it works, it usually works for ports other than 80 as well as the defaults. This is a quite separate problem from getting in through a firewall to a server that provides access to the data. For many organisations, that takes you into the world of bastion hosts, perimiter networks, and firewall configurations that explicitly cater for the access to that host from outside.

    In my opinion, the bottom line is that SOAP will work for simple stuff, but if you care about security you are on your own. The people griping about firewall problems with CORBA, RMI, DCOM etc. will be disappointed if they adopt SOAP as a 'solution'.

    As for the rest of .NET, it is a very mixed bag; some is good, some is bad, and some is just ugly. Microsoft will make it happen, we will have to live with it, it will be change, but no guarantee of progress.

  • IBM already shared their SOAP implementation to apache and I think they've already modified/extended it a bit.
  • Corel may be perfect for the task in Microsoft's eyes. .NET will run on Linux, but not as well as it could. Porting to WINE will make the system just run slower. MS can then say "Switch to Win2k if you need more speed or power."

    Think of how well MS Office runs on Macs....

    Fair notice: I own Corel stock and wish it would go up in value.

    I Use Napster. I use DeCSS. I buy over $1000 a year in CD/DVDs.
  • Could you have told use what Corel would port .NET to? Presumable Linux, but the idea of reasing an SEC filing this early in the morning without a few more cups of coffee really makes my head hurt worse than it hurts now.

  • Well, from what I've read, it allows you to pass actual data between languages without marshelling, the thing that COM does for you. It will also hide COM from you so you can just work with straight data types. Apparently.
  • SUN has it's head up it's ass. It's a Microsoft-wannabe - it's stuck between trying to own and dictate java while at the same time trying to claim it's open. Depends on which department you talk to. The only reason it's finally moving forward again is because IBM beat them with a wet noodle. I would _love_ to switch to java. I think it could be a great(tm) thing. But, like the Apple, Sun is going to keep SCREWING around until Microsoft REVs them to death. HOW many times has a great potential product/software/etc came out only to have MS trample it? Look at Word Perfect & Office. Office use to _SUCK_. It took them a long time, but Office pretty much kicked Word Perfect into the dirt. Once Microsoft gets rolling (and this takes a long time) it's practically impossible to stop. Java had a, what, three year leap on them? And Sun has squandered it. The window is quickly closing. Java could have owned the market. Now, who knows? .NET is pitched at EVERY level. You're delusional if you think the MS is going to settle for small piece of the market. C# is targeted at client & server side - and it's a direct competitor for Java, or it will be. I know, I know, it's vapor right now. So was MS Office.
  • Frigging .NET has nothing to do with a compiler. It has everything to do with SOAP and there are already SOAP implementations for Linux. So what the hell is everyone bitching about if you wish to build a Linux .NET app today you by all means could.
  • Let's keep you martyr linux coders in the closet. Less competition that way.
  • by 11223 ( 201561 ) on Thursday October 12, 2000 @06:01AM (#712245)
    2.5 Clarification Regarding Intent. Nothing in this Section shall preclude Corel from releasing versions of Products that do not include any support for the .NET Framework and/or the Windows Platform.

    Just so you know....

  • Microsoft also intended for NT to be multi-platform as well.

    We no longer have with us:
    NT-MIPS, NT-PPC, NT-Alpha

    Whaddya think is going to happen when there is a .NET for other platforms? Lip service enough to rope in the non-x86 people, less features, more bugs, slow painful death, make x86 the most attractive platform, help migrate people to x86, then kill off the others one by one.

    Just like they did with NT.

    Not because they're in any secret conspiracy with Intel, mind you. It's because it's a profit-optimization to support only one platform. This is why companies standardize on one platform.

    There are lots of good reasons why this is a bad idea, but haven't bean-counters been running things for quite some time now?

  • Umm, maybe you should go read the link :). It states clearly that the (optional on MS's part) port would be to Linux.
  • by joshv ( 13017 ) on Thursday October 12, 2000 @06:32AM (#712248)
    I don't care if it runs on Windows, Linux, or the next create OO operating system. I ain't gunna use it.

    "Sorry, the server hosting your documents directory "Business Plan" is temporarily unavailable. Please try back later. We apologize for this inconvenience."

    All I am saying is that if Microsoft can't provide a simple, stable web mail service, how can we expect them to reliable handle the complex architecture they have layed out in .NET?

  • Ahhhh then you can't trap people into using windows in any way. It's really not smart for them to shoot themselves in the foot.
  • Obviously, M$ is being very careful to make sure that they get NO competition in the Office arena, however

    That depends on how you read it. I read it that Corel is not required to .NET enable WordPerfect. I'd imagine that if they see it as a feature that will help them gain market share they can. This seems more likely correct given the rest of the sentance: "...Products for which Corel chooses to make no new commercial releases...".
  • Okay, point taken. Some of it could turn out good (easy multi-language development) and some of it could turn out plain eeeeevil (pretty poor privacy).
  • in the right direction for Linux. Now, im setting myself up for failure here...but.. My biggest gripe with Windows and Microsoft in general has been they refuse to even acknowledge linux as a viable solution for the desktop or the enterprise. The thick-headedness these people exhibited has been down right sickening. The fact that they will port a major framework, thus enabling linux to act as a contender in the marketplace, is a remarkable milestone for the Linux movement. Once these bigger companies start seeing, and accepting, Linux, more progress will be made. I know it sounds like big bad MS moving in on our territory...but think about it. What if MS opens their eyes and learns something? What if they actually take the knowledge and build windows to be better and as reliable? Sure, its a long shot, but I think its a good stepping stone for both sides. We can co-exist, and It will happen, people just need to lose the ignorance

    "sex on tv is bad, you might fall off..."
  • Corel appears to be required to support .NET to some extent in its products (section 2). But the last paragraph of section 2 appears to "clarify" that they aren't really required to support .NET. It seems contradictory.

    The agreement also gives Corel a license to four MS patents covering (as far as I can tell) spreadsheet technology, database technology, UI technology and (apparently) spell-checking technology. This is in Section 4 of the agreement.

    Section 6 renews Corel's license to VBA (Visual Basic for Applications). Has Corel used VBA in any applications thus far?


  • These earlier posts are missing an important point. Most of the discussion is centered around ".Net Sucks, Microsoft Sucks" and "OSS rU1z0rz!", or even "MS is okay, but who's going to use Linux.Net?", but there's something happening for the first time here that we need to analye: If .Net is ported to a Linux Platform, what position does that give this new hybrid system?

    Let's put it in the terms of a scenario: Some arbitrary Linux company, say Corel, is the only Linux platform to support Microsoft's one and only .Net platform.

    • Microsoft can't run Linux.
    • Debian can't run Win2k(Disclaimer: I like Debian, but it can't run Win2k. No harm done.).
    • Corel Linux.Net runs GNOME, plus KDE, plus KOFFEE, or whatever it's called.

    Recompile yer kernel when you feel like it, run ASP+ for your webserver if you want to, run Apache if you feel like it, run both if you want to have an interesting benchmark between the two, the possibilities are quite frankly exponential.

    So here's a serious question for those of you who aren't so quick to blow it off or fully embrace it with all of your uninformed conviction: What could this mean if it happens?

  • Corel's original OfficeSuite 8 was developped in Java....

    No, you're mistaken. Corel was, at one point, developing an office suite in Java, but it was cancelled back in the summer of 1997. Every version of WordPerfect (well, that Corel has released) has been written in C and C++.


  • The registry concept was pretty cool, because ....

    That's the funniest thing I've read for a long, long, time.

  • Dominate? What gives you that impression? Please give me a real citation. Sounds like wishful thinking.
  • That type of movement requires SEC filings - didnt find anywhere.

  • The initiative behind .NET is to open up MS Office to the NET. With Office 2001, Office is now not only being componentize but is also being wrapped with XML interfaces. This setup allows MS to provide Office as service over the web.

    MS can do this easily for the existing Windows platform. The idea of using Corel is to use it as a *client* to MS Office on Linux (and Unix) platforms.

    This strategy allows MS to put Office "everywhere" without having to have Windows "everywhere" -- after all how else can MS take over the remaining 15 or the market?!

    The way I see it, MS with their .NET strategy, will win the OS, Language (Java) and Office war hands down.

    -- George
  • A covenant not to sue is, of course, just one type of license. I've dealt with MS before on these matters, and they love to try drawing distinctions that are not there (including the license/covenant thing).

    By saying that there is no license, only a covenant not to sue, they are cutting out any of the (potentially) implied rights that commonly go with licenses (right to sublicense, etc).


  • According to a post [] in the DOTNET discussion forum [], Tony Goodhew, C# Product Manager for Microsoft comments that the .Net framework is already running on a non-windows platfrom. Maybe Linux?

    "During the presentation I was asked about whether or not there were 2 or more implementations of the CLI. At Microsoft we have implemented 2 versions of the CLI. These are known as our .NET Frameworks and .NET Compact Frameworks. Further it was asked what platforms these were running on. Currently Microsoft has these frameworks running on all the Windows platforms (Win2K through WinCE) and 1 non-Windows platform. Unfortunately I'm not able to comment any further on the non-Windows platform."

  • Not only that, but when you combine such power with unscrupulous practices (I'm not saying that Microsoft is unscrupulous - this is a what-if scenario ;-) - you have tremendous potential for abuse.

    For instance, say some independent software vendor has come up with some hot new product idea, but because they're a cash-starved startup, they "rent" Visual Studio from Microsoft, via .NET/ASP service. Now, Microsoft has MANY avenues of leverage here. They can probably gain access to this potential competitor's source-code. They could make all kinds of moves like cancelling the service at their whim - paralyzing the startup's developers, and they don't even have to be in breach of contract to do that; the services rates could be changed, the payment could be "lost in the mail", or they could simply be found "in violation" of Microsoft's usage policy, or Microsoft could simply run into "technical problems" on the application server. The independent developer is at Microsoft's mercy. They could even be as subtle as, run a screen saver on the application server, slowing it down to the point where the startup's deadlines are impacted because of the increased time it takes to launch Visual Studio, or just access files.

    This is all above and beyond the present tactics MS uses with MFC, altering APIs at their whims, misleading documentation (intentional, or just economizing on tech writers, you be the judge), and providing "secret APIs" to their own developers (none of which will not change with the DOJ-mandated split, by the way).

    Since this company also "rents" Office from .NET, they're also open to espionage of documents and spreadsheets.

    Eventually, this company runs into trouble, no revenue, lagging product releases, lays off half it's staff, starts looking for financial rescue, or a partner, and along comes Microsoft with a stock buyout. Microsoft very cheaply buys this "great idea", and completes it, integrates it into it's product line, and comes out smelling nice a purdy.

    Eventually, nobody starts up computer software companies anymore, and all the major competitors have been beaten down or dissolved, and the only place to get software/service from is Microsoft. Never mind that no consumers want or ever wanted .NET. There's no more choice because MS is the only vendor, and they vend only service, no software anymore.

    **conspiracy theory** and the best payoff of all is that computers no longer need to be sold with CDROM drives, because everything is .NET-ified, so the RIAA no longer has to worry about piracy of digital media thru CDs. Microsoft probably gets a nod and a wink from the record companies, who are beholden to MS anyway, because MS 0wns their SDMI music servers like everything else.
  • .NET is basically a Java clone. Since Java's success demonstrates that people care about being able to run the same application on different platforms, obviously Microsoft's answer needs to do the same thing.

    It makes perfect sense if Microsoft wants total market dominance: they have something that, on paper, looks like a good response to Java. At the same time, they get their proprietary software onto other platforms and drive competing application vendors out of business. And since they control .NET, they can always stop support for other platforms when it suits them.

    Of course, the problem with this is that Microsoft will probably have trouble delivering a good version of .NET (it's even harder than a good JVM) and that many peopel feel that their applications and web software sucks. So, overall, it probably won't make much of a difference either way.

  • With tools like SWIG and gcj, Java and C++ easily work together.

    But you don't get something for nothing. If you put C/C++ into Java or C#, you lose the runtime safety and security guarantees. Or, if you try to build special versions of C/C++ to preserve safety, you lose C/C++'s efficiency and control over memory usage. Microsoft has the same problem as anybody else: it's a fundamental mismatch between the design of C++ and languages like Java.

    However, a safe-but-slower version of C++ make sense for Microsoft because they have been using C++ as a high-level applications programming language for so long. But people don't get the "advantages of both" that way because that kind of applications code never took advantage of C++'s strengths in the first place.

  • Grrr......Gates this and Gates that. Get with the times!

    He's not calling the shots anymore. Microsoft is Ballmer's puppy now. Sure, Bill probably has a hell of a say in what happens, but he's not the ringleader any longer.

    "Gates" is chief software architect. Ballmer is the one running the show.

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • Not that I like replying to my own post, but I think I figured it out.

    Section 2.2 requires Corel to support .NET in at least one version of each of their products (except the "excluded" ones, of course).

    Section 2.5 clarifies that Corel can put out products without .NET support (presumably where there are multiple versions of a product, at least one supports .NET, the others don't).


  • This isn't true. One of the main points about .net is providing
    write-once, run-anywhere code, and a consistent set of libraries
    (ie. compete with Java), and this needs compiler support.
  • Yep, but there are stipulations to this:

    2.3 Commitment to Allocate Appropriate Resources to Support Development and Testing of Corel Products on .NET Framework and Windows Platform. Corel agrees that it shall allocate Resources to support the development, testing, and marketing of the versions of Products that target the .NET Framework and/or Windows Platform, as described in this Section, that are at least as great as the Resources that Corel allocates to the versions of Products that do not include Material Support for the .NET Framework and/or Windows Platform.

    Esentially, they have to double manpower on projects in order to release a non .NET supported application.

  • But, they have to at least devote the manpower to developing in house. See section 2.5..
  • They have to at least *TRY* to to .NET. They don;t have to *SELL* it, but they do have to develope it.. See section 2.5..
  • by GroundBounce ( 20126 ) on Thursday October 12, 2000 @06:45AM (#712286)
    .NET, like Java, is an attempt to provide an appliation framework for the internet. With only 30%-40% or so of internet servers running on Microsoft platforms, they have to port the server side of .NET or it will die on the vine. (Unless, of course, they are arrogant enough to think that the mere existance of .NET will instantly bring them to 100% server market share.)

    On the client side, it is also to their advantage to port it because this will give them credibility in competetion with Java. The fact that they will be releasing the C# language specification to an open standards body unfortunately already gives them a head start on the credibility. Client side support for other platforms also means they can extend their Office monopoly onto other platforms without having to port it more than once (to .NET).

    Despite all this, however, you can likely count on the Windows implementations being much more optimized, at least at first, and they will use this as leverage to try to increase there presence on the server side, where it currently lags more.
  • I would argue that Corel has the Java experience that you claim. They have laid off almost everyone who worked on the original WP office suite and Java implementation.
  • As soon as I check this out with the Linux port of Internet Explorer, I'll do a big writeup using Microsoft Word for Linux.
  • I know a popular Slashdot image is Bill Gates cowering behind his gigantic desk, quivering in terror over the Linux threat, but in reality he's got bigger worries (the Government).

    If anything Linux just represents what Gates already knows -- the OS is a commodity, and in the long run somebody could out-commodity his biggest profit center. When Andreeson and McNeely stated back in 1994 that the web and Java makes Windows irrelevant, Gates knows that someday they will be right. If not Java, then Linux. If not Linux, then handholds or NCs or somehthing else will eventually get onto a large percentage of Gates' corporate and home desktops.

    Meanwhile, Microsoft's attempts at getting a real foothold in the meat of corporations infrastructure haven't been going that well. Despite 10 years of COM/DCOM "integration", it hasn't really sold well in the larger sense.

    So, along comes the US Government with the proposal to split the OS division off from the rest of the company. Under the current integrated COM-based system, this could be a technical disaster.

    But .NET solves all of this -- it's the first Microsoft initiative that treats Windows that the commodity that it is, and it firmly moves *all* of the sexy system stuff to the "middleware" MSAppsCo layer. It's amazing leap for Microsoft if only because it does not have "Windows" written all over it. (Microsoft didn't even know if the "W" in the NGWS codename stood for "Web" or "Windows".) And furthermore, it has a real enterprise sell to it, much like Java does, except that it also has an instant foothold -- the real monopoly of MS Office.

    Under .NET, the OS company can go into low effort maintance mode, making commodity profits for a commodity product. Meanwhile, the Apps company can continue with it's extend-and-embrace jihad against every other computer company. And if Linux or something gets popular on the desktop -- no problem, just port the .NET virtual machine, and let the OS Co wither and die. On the other hand, if they win the anti-trust case, no problem either - just use their Windows monopoly to force the OEMs to pre-install the .NET runtime on millions of machines and continue as usual.

  • >What would happen if (very big IF) MS actually start producing Linux software

    That would indicate that they have bought into the hype about linux .

    If Microsoft was embracing GNU/Linux and Open Source, *THAT* would be news.

    As it is, the 'Linux community' isn't about open source, it is about 'beating Microsoft'.
  • unless of course it all ends up with a closed-protocol and closed-source project and they can charge mega-$ for it

    Well, what do you think this is? .NET servers running MS Software, on ANY OS that you care to use. Realistically, they'd probably rather you use Windows 2000 (or 2001 or whatever) as your server platform, but if you need to purchase a .NET subscription for every server, (so that you can support your users who just NEED .NET to run their favorite applications) be it Windows (oops! .Net is already included) or Linux, or Sun, or AIX, or ... they'll still get their market penetration, profits, and control.

  • To get a Linux distro with .NET runtime, all you'll need is one with IE for Linux preintalled, which is what Corel's Linux will deliver.

    Which is even more insidious than lock-in to a Linux.NET at the OS level, since it raises the possibility that via IE, Microsoft will extend desktop platform control to Linux. After all, new applications will all be accessed through the browser very soon.
  • No. The real worry he has is about not growing in revenue. There's so many copies of Windows that can be sold. There are so many features you can put in Windows after which people will stop feeling the need to upgrade. Linux is also a factor in this, but not the major one imho.

    It's not Linux or the government that's causing this, it's the stock market and the simple requirement to grow revenue to keep the stock moving.
  • My whole point is that the desktop OS monopoly is irrelevant if they control the servers that desktop OS works with. Microsoft is working to move up the food chain. They've been trying for some time now with NT, which has met with mixed success. .NET is Microsoft's way of implementing the web-centric computing model that scared them so badly when Netscape came along.

    In order to continue to expand, Microsoft MUST make it big in the server/enterprise market. If it doesn't then its growth is capped. Its stock price is so heavily tied to its accelerated rate of expansion, that should that acceleration stop or become negative, the stock price will quickly fall.

    Lee Reynolds
  • Try actually reading the post and doing some research. You can run a SOAP-compliant Web SErvice on any web server, any plaform, any language....
  • Try actually reading a technical discussion of the .NET platform. SOAP is only a small part of it.
  • The real problem is the .net name is so all encompassing. If you're talking about the whole .NET visual studio languaes, yes, the CLR (common language runtime) would have to be ported. Although, as I pointed out in a previous post, I don't think it would be nearly as hard as, say, WINE. But SOAP is just a protocol, so you can run web services on anything.....
  • Anyone with a "principle" of not using MS software because it's MS software needs to seriously reexamine their principles.

    If Microsoft releases software for Linux, I'll treat it exactly like I will any othe software for Linux. If it's horrible software, I won't use it. If it's not Free, I won't use it unless I really really need the functionality and there's no free alternative.

    If Microsoft puts out a high quality free product that I find useful, I will use it. I will be very surprised, but I'll use it.
  • Does anybody else find the technologies Corel is investing in questionable?

    Debian is great. KDE is great. Debian and KDE is just weird from a licensing standpoint (I'm talking pre QPL days here... not GPL.)

    Wine, while a cool technology unto itself, is memory hungry and not terribly stable. Certianly less stable than Windows at running Windows applications, and less rich in features. Wine is also restricted to the Intel architecture, shooting the splintered HCC(Rebel) in the foot.

    Debian makes a great server OS, KDE makes a great desktop, Wine makes a great pseudoemulator. Put them all together and you get...

    An easy to use GUI with extremely bloated unstable applications, and very little application interoperability... locked to the Intel Architecture no less. I would honestly rather run Windows.

    The only reason I can think that they would choose such technologies would be because they were in a hurry... otherwise they should have cooperated with Redhat, ported their apps to GTK, and run Gnome (pre QPL becoming GPL days here! No Gnome/KDE flames!)

    On the upside, they gave Wine a boost.. but as somebody commented regarding the Corel/Microsoft combination, new Corel contributions to the Wine codebase may now be tainted by NDAs and anti-compete clauses or something dumb like that.

    This .net thing might make Corel kick butt on the markets in the short term, but in the long term they're doomed.

  • Okay, maybe it's just my slant on things, but this is how I see things at Microsoft.

    Gates stepped down as CEO because he was getting bored with CEO type duties and responsibilities. He's still calling all the shots, but he's not handling the day-to-day stuff that Ballmer is now. Never mind the fact that if/when the $(1* hits the fan, Ballmer is now set up as the fall guy, and Gates will remain unscathed.

    Don't fool yourself - Microsoft is still very much Bill's baby.
  • I actually agree with that, and it's what I was getting at with the term "commodity". If they are broken up, in the long run, the OS Company does not have a sustainable business model, despite the fact they get a monopoly cut on almost every PC sold. Especially with .NET on the horizon, they will need to get into other markets fast, which will be difficult without established products.

    On the other hand, the App Company needs to figure out a way to go "enterprise" and go there fast to keep the profit levels up. The "Windows DNA" COM stuff wasn't getting them there, so they are going with a pretty radical technological break. The price of this is that all of the current MS Office/VisualBasic/COM-based tech deployed by their fanbase has been declared obsolete. Too bad for those guys.
  • Not just the Government - the European Union are after him as well.
  • If Microsoft comes out with a good product for Linux I WILL BE THE FIRST ONE IN THE FRIGGIN LINE TO BUY IT.

    So far, open source has given us a world-class development environment, the world's best text-editor, the most popular, flexible and stable webservers, and two (or four) of the world's most stable and robust operating systems. That's why I run Linux and *BSD. Open source hasn't quite gotten to the muckity-muck of the worlds best office suite yet, so why wouldn't we buy Microsoft?
  • Why wouldn't they? If you're fool enough to pay MS every time you want to send an email, they'll take your money even if you're running Linux.
  • Embrace and Extend - sounds like Share and Enjoy to me!

    Microsoft are gradually becoming the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation. They already made, in the form of Actimates, 'Your Plastic Pal That's Fun To Be With'. All we need now is someone to utter 'Go Stick Your Head Up a Pig!'

  • They started switching the web servers over to Win2k a little over a month ago and appear to be complete.

    Check out, point it to and see what they are running today.

    There never was a migration to NT4 that failed miserably, but nice of you to fall hook line and sinker for that tale.
  • In a large project, ML may be the best tool for some portions, JAVA/C# for others, and maybe C++ for still other portions.

    Although your sentiment is correct, I take exception to your use of the slash in "JAVA/C#".

    This is roughly akin to saying something like "Fortran/Visual Basic".

    Or maybe "Modula 2/Delphi".

  • Wow, I'm sure that's exactly what future Corel employees are looking forward to.

    "Congratulations on being hired at Corel. Your first project will be to work for Microsoft, the exact technology you were trying to get away from!"
  • Except they have no seats, and no stick. MS has non-voting shares in Corel and Apple.

  • "Corel agrees that at least one version of each Major Upgrade of each Corel Product that Corel releases after the Ship Date shall include Material Support for the .NET Framework, except for WordPerfect and Products for which Corel chooses to make no new commercial release whatsoever after the Ship Date (together, the "Excluded Products"). "
    Obviously, M$ is being very careful to make sure that they get NO competition in the Office arena, however.
    Just make sure .NET get spread out into more arenas, but that they still will get NO competition for their little cashcow, Office.
  • Well if it's any help, it's not a user-tracking technology.

    .Net is an application framework, it involves how your write applications and how those applications can communicate with one another over the network.

  • But SOAP is just a protocol, so you can run web services on anything.....

    .... until the user out there actually wants to call a routine.

  • Anyone checked to see if they sold all of them to help along the >50% stock collapse Apple had? >:)
  • MS does not own a chunk of Apple. They bought a TRIVIAL peice of non-voting stock like 3 years ago.

    The only leverage MS has over Apple is Office. Yes, that's a big lever. But it's the only one.

  • > Hotmail? You mean the one that runs on BSD and Apache?

    The fact that they can't keep BSD et Apache running is all the more reason to doubt their ability to provide a useful .net.

    Give me a candidate who speaks out against the war on drugs.
  • From what I've read, Microsoft plans for .Net to be platform independent. Not just for PC's, but various devices as well. Given the growth of GNU/Linux, it only makes sense that they would want to port .Net to it eventually. I'm sure we'll see an OS X port, a Palm port, and a lot of other ports.

    What does this mean for GNU/Linux? It means Microsoft sees it as a viable platform, in spite of some of the past statements Gates and Ballmer have made.

  • by sheldon ( 2322 )
    You don't appear to have any concept as to what .Net is.
  • Linux is what they will be embracing and extending, and it is potentially bad for Linux.

    Lets say that some user or another is using Linux on their desktop, but connecting to a .NET server somplace. What would that mean? Well it means that they are using a Microsoft NT/2000/???? based SERVER and that Linux is simply being used as a glorified terminal.

    Linux has always been a burr under Microsoft's saddle in the server arena. Wouldn't it be ironic if pushing Linux onto the desktop helped Microsoft promote its servers?

    As for wether GUI users are automatically clueless, it is not the use of a GUI which makes one clueless, it is dependence upon it. If you know what you are doing and prefer a GUI, fine. If you prefer a GUI because you don't know how to handle anything else then that is another thing. I work in a computer lab where I have to try and help the truly clueless all day long. People who don't know how to do something simple such as copy a file or save something to disk. The real kicker is that these are college students, supposedly among the most computer literate segments of society. GUI based systems were supposed to make computers "easier" for the clueless to use. After over a decade of watching and waiting, I've seen no evidence that they have been a great success at doing this. Someone who is willing to learn how to use a computer will learn how to use one regardless of the interface. Someone who doesn't want to learn or thinks that they shouldn't have to learn, is not going to learn regardless of how much you try to cater the system to them. Much like stupidity, there is no easy cure for willfull ignorance.

    Lee Reynolds
  • Now, I've tried for the last couple years to maintain optimism about Corel. I've been a fan of WordPerfect since I was a kid using WordPerfect 4.x in dos, and I was more or less pleased with WP7 and 8 when they came to Linux. Functional, faster than StarOffice. Did the job.

    But Corel has only been going downhill in my book. My question is, is Corel actually up to the task of porting .NET to Linux? I mean, sure they have a Linux distro, but they didn't write any of it. At most, they wrote an installer, a KDE file manager.. Few utils here and there, but the rest of it is Debian. WordPerfect had a motif port long before Corel got their hands on it, so I assume that was the starting point for WP7/Linux and WP8/Linux. And then there's CorelOffice, which isn't ported to Linux persay (No native toolkit), it's ported to Wine, which is a completely different endeavor. So, I say again. Is Corel equipped to port .NET?

    Now, a business perspective. Corel has been losing money, and demonstrating just how low your stock can go for the last year or two. This MS investment seems to be in line with MS's extremely well-established history of investing, partnering, embracing, and extending other companies (Not just their products). I wonder what the future of Corel will be.
  • Of course I'm only making a qualitative judgement. Maybe you can provide the uptime numbers you're using the make the claim that Hotmail isn't reliable.

    Based on my own usage it does not work (I cannot access my mailbox) at least one time a month. This isn't just a single page failed to load - everything I try fails to get me in. In the past it has been much worse. I get spurious bad page hits that a 'reload' fixes, all of the time.

    This is just not up to the level of quality I would expect if I am to entrust business and personal documents to .NET. Add to that the fact that .NET is orders of magnitude more complex than a webmail service and I think Microsoft has a lot to prove.


  • 1. 25% of corel

    2. Forced support of .net on windows by corel products. The value of this to MS is to ensure that if .net is crap (memory hog or slow), it doesn't lose any market share to non .net versions from its competitors.

    3. An option to force corel to spend 3-5mil in employee time to port .net to linux, at which time the port is wholy owned by MS with no benefit to corel. Its not an OSS port.

    4. very soft value in PR, keeping a weak competitor afloat, and so maybe preventing amunition in its anti-trust case that would be a corel bankruptsy. (?)

    Item 3 is the only one with tangible value. $3-5 mil. As pointed out in the post i'm replying to, more capable subcontractors could be found, and if MS cared about the output, more incentives for the contractors put in.

    To me, item 2's only value is the show of industry support for its .net platform. Why should ms care if corel products uses .net or not otherwise?

    Most of the value must be in 4, although its hard to see how it makes up what they paid.
  • by crovira ( 10242 ) on Thursday October 12, 2000 @06:14AM (#712356) Homepage
    Corel's original OfficeSuite 8 was developped in Java and now that the Java VMs and average processor speeds are adequate to support it, they have the experience (and a codebase to start from,) to build M$ .NET and propagate it beyond the x86 architecture, something which M$ has repeatedly and demonstrably failed at.

    But M$ file formats are locked tight and get changed every time M$ needs some cash.

    If we can't obstruct, we can at least RESIST!
  • by JohnZed ( 20191 ) on Thursday October 12, 2000 @06:14AM (#712357)
    .NET is a more complicated framework than the JVM and the Java platform libraries put together. It needs and extremely efficient virtual machine (which, on Windows, comes from the group that developed Microsoft's very quick Java runtime) and just-in-time compilers in addition to massive support from system libraries on Win32. The VM, especially, is an incredibly tough piece of software to build well. Sun has spent five years optimizing their Solaris JVM, and they did so with the help of their whole research arm (including the guys who developed Self, the most advanced OO runtime to precede Java), their traditional OS and compilers groups, and several acquisitions. But people still complain about that JVM's performance and stability.
    Does Corel have any experience in developing compilers, VMs, or systems libraries? This is a far more complex problem than making slight additions to the WINE project that had already been in progress for years before Corel came along. If Corel takes a lead role in the production of Linux.NET (which, luckily, I think is already trademarked by someone else), the results will be a farce, especially since so many of their best developers jumped ship during their incredibly-prolonged financial troubles.
    I'd much rather see people like Borland, Tower Technologies, Appeal Virtual Machines, and SGI, who have the necessary skills and resources, take the initiative. But I guess there's not a lot of reason to make sure Linux has a GOOD implementation of .NET if you're in Microsoft's shoes, is there?
  • by dannyspanner ( 135912 ) on Thursday October 12, 2000 @06:15AM (#712358) Homepage
    I am no Microsoft fan, but bashing .NET just because it's from them is very short sighted. Some of the ideas are very intersting, for instance common binary data types. This allows different languages to cooperate without the requirement of complex (slow, hard to understand) arbitration methods such as COM or CORBA.

    Remember, people use computers to get things done, not to show off their latest window mamangers. If Microsoft make it easier to tie tools together people will use Windows and put up with its tempremental behaviour. Believe me, I've seen it where I work.
  • to port the .NET frame work to Corel Linux Products, not corel. Corel would probably do it, mircoshaft until its broken up won't even think about it.
  • I don't know the actual value of the company, but I DO know that after the first year after this investment, (when they had their first 4 consecutive profitable quarters) Apple reported that they had ONE BILLION in cash. Versus the trivial $150 million MS invested.

    Although I did omit a second "lever".

    The fact that OmniWeb for OS X exists, is a sweet exit-strategy for Apple. As is AppleWorks, which is Carbon. MS Office is not yet Carbon.
  • tml

    From their announcement on gnome-news:

    "What we need is a Free Software alternative that uses a similar approach to .NET Internet-distributed applications and components), but without the subscriptions and restrictions (how information is shared using Gnutella, for example).

    With such a system...

    You won't have to pay a subscription when you can use free resources available on the Internet, akin to the way you can access most web pages for free.

    You won't have to rely on one (guess who) company for access to the infrastructure and resources, and be held hostage by its whims.

    You can copy, modify, and re-distribute resources as you please.

    You can run local copies of resources and keep your information local, under your own control!

    Piper is an effort to bring "The Unix Way" to the GUI, "connect-the-dots" to the CLI, and to distribute interconnected application components (not just whole applications) throughout the Internet.

    The basic idea behind Piper is that anything and everything should be buildable by linking small components.
    This is "The UNIX Way" and even how object-oriented programming works."

  • >> With Koffice (and GNOME Office Suite which will be out and in good shape long before .NET for GNU/Linux) that last reason to bother with alternatively licensed (non-GPL) software is gone.

    .NET isn't subscription based office software. .NET is a runtime, its closest competitor is Java. So basically you'll have a virtual machine that runs on any OS, that supports components and programs written in any language. A .NET runtime on Linux would be pretty cool - if it works as well as they say, you could write a Python or Perl app that would run on Windows or any other OS that had the .NET VM installed.

    >> that last reason to bother with alternatively licensed (non-GPL) software is gone

    That's something any open source developer should be extremely careful with if they are going to try the .NET thing. M$ philosophy of making money is extremely ingrained in all their software, down to licensing things you have to think about just to write a component. There are good things about it. Microsoft has it set up to make it easy for individuals and small groups of people to make money writing software(just don't get too big). But being that you are forced to hide your source & program with lots of binary components whenever you use any M$ programming software, I don't see how it could possibly be compatible with anything that's GPL'd.

    I watch the sea.
    I saw it on TV.

  • Ok great, so we may one day see the .NET subscription software available for GNU/Linux ?

    I'm really happy now.

    What is it exactly this will mean to us, /if/ some day maybe it is really ported, and, if it actually works sufficiently well to be usable ?

    With Koffice (and GNOME Office Suite which will be out and in good shape long before .NET for GNU/Linux) that last reason to bother with alternatively licensed (non-GPL) software is gone.

    Let's face it - we're in a position where such news are irrelevant :)
  • by tjwhaynes ( 114792 ) on Thursday October 12, 2000 @06:18AM (#712379)

    What benefit could MS hope to gain from .NET on Linux? It certainly would not benefit it to have Linux servers holding a significant part of the .NET server market - unless of course it all ends up with a closed-protocol and closed-source project and they can charge mega-$ for it.

    On the client side though it might be a significant benefit for MS as the Linux desktop market grows to have .NET connectivity from a market penetration point of view. If MS holds the reins of power on the server end of .NET, and .NET clients become ubiquitous, it gives another market stranglehod to MS. That strikes me as the desired business direction - .NET servers running MS Software on an execlusively MS platform.


    Toby Haynes

  • by leereyno ( 32197 ) on Thursday October 12, 2000 @06:19AM (#712381) Homepage Journal
    This is simply a way for Microsoft to leverage Linux. If Microsoft controls the back-end, does it matter what the front end is? Gates knows that Linux is becoming more popular. Unlike other competitiors which he could simply buy or drive out of business, Linux represents an amorphous target that simply can't be hit. Porting .NET to linux is nothing more than a method to turn Linux his own advantage.

    Now you might be saying to yourself that "I would never use .NET on any platform." But what about all the clueless users that projects such as KDE, Gnome, and especially Eazel are working to attract? Do they understand that by using .NET they're giving even more power to a man who thinks he is the reincarnation of Napoleon Boneparte?

    Its just embrace and extend all over again. Assuming of course that this is something they truly intend to do. I think whether they do it or not has a lot to do with how much of an inroad Linux makes into the clueless desktop user market. The more lemmings use Linux, the more likely Microsoft is to do this.

    Lee Reynolds

I cannot believe that God plays dice with the cosmos. -- Albert Einstein, on the randomness of quantum mechanics