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MS To Work To Make .NET Run OSes Beyond Windows 230

Wattsman writes "Looks like Microsoft is taking a new approach. From Linux Today, Microsoft has announced that will release software that will allow non-MS operating systems to run .NET web services. Ballmer specifically mentions that Linux is one of the platforms."
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MS To Work To Make .NET Run OSes Beyond Windows

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  • as is stated elsewhere in this discussion, .NET != SOAP, SOAP is only the RPC for .NET objects and services. so, MS can keep .NET as closed as they want, and still interoperate with other platforms.

    i've got an upcoming project that we'd like to deploy as a set of web services. unfortunatly, if we choose XML-RPC in leiu of SOAP, we would be missing out on the future interoperability that SOAP promises. and to make matters worse, the only real choices for implementing web services via SOAP at the moment are (a) rolling our own, (b) MSSOAP or (c) Apache SOAP. both (b) and (c) would lock us into a single vendor (sunjava on the Apache side). a python library for SOAP clients and servers would fit our bill perfectly, but alas, it's just not there yet.
  • Agreed. Microtrash software won't run on my Linux box until I see a big change in the way they do business or are broken up. Whichever comes first.
  • ...or one came with their computer

  • Embrace...extend...embrace...extend...

    Seriously it sure looks/feels like this to me as well.

    Plausible MS internal memo: "If we can't beat linux, we'll ruin it!"

    -Ought for Nowt
  • How many fucking morons had to point this out?

    I get 18 at 1:19PM PT. This guy I am replying to posted almost 2 hours after the first person with the correct answer.

    God, this place is just crawling with MCSE-wannabes creaming their pants to make some use of the shit they learned at "cram class" while sitting at their useless fucking telephone support jobs.

    All we need now is Juan Epstein going OOOOOoooo OOOOOOooo, along with all of these shitheads and this would be the perfect thread. (Actually, if Juan Epstein and cyborg_monkey got into a flamewar, then it would be the perfect thread).
  • by evenprime ( 324363 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2001 @12:23PM (#366146) Homepage Journal
    what's all the hubbub? I just finished reading an article about SOAP. Sounded pretty neat.

    Many security people, including Bruce Schneier [] consider SOAP to be a horrible idea. Think about it. Your simple stateful packet filter (i.e. linux 2.4 kernel) will no longer be enough to build a firewall. If applications use XML over port 80 as an API, we will have to put application level proxies on things that used to be simple services. All firewalls will have to include an analytical engine as strong as that of an IDS for each service they want to run. That makes them much more expensive and complex.

    Complex firewalls generally aren't as trusted as simple ones. Things are going to get ugly, and SOAP won't help.

  • Thats not what .Net is. .Net is a development platform, upon which microsoft happens to have plans to build some subscription services (office, etc). .Net itself is not these subscription services.
  • My feeling is that it isn't a general release document - for one thing it's actually a PDF, instead of the usual Word document in a self-extracting EXE.

    You are of course correct, posting it to a publicly available web site does call into question its trade secret status. However, it can also be viewed as an automated way for them to share their proprietary secrets with other worthy entities, despite the fact that there is no constraint on who can look at it.

    Although anyone is free to view the document (providing they promise not to share its contents with anyone outside of their organization), they are not free to use any of the contained information. It has been provided for the purposes of security analysis only, any other use is strictly prohibited.

    The end result? Just one more piece of evidence that Microsoft is nothing more than a group of lawyers, marketers, and managers, with the occasional code monkey to do some actual work and no quality-control people in sight.

    The Hotmail addres is my decoy account. I read it approximately once per year.
  • How can linux's use on the desktop go down? It's currently not used on the desktop in signifigant numbers (not counting people who read slashdot).

  • I'm not a security expert but i have some experience implementing distributed systems that use HTTP, and you can easily use SSL (or any stronger PKI based authentication system) to integrate security into your services.
    The point is not protecting the content of the data stream from tampering, the point is that random, [untrusted] apps are making procedure calls on your system -- and you can't block them at the firewall. Is BackOrfice running around on your NT network? Block the port it communicates over at the router/firewall. Legal objections to P2P servers? Block the port. Running a closed-source package that 'reports back to the mothership' - block the port.
    Now run all those over SOAP -- all of a sudden, your ability to control these actions over your network are trashed. Not impaired, but totally fucked. The amount of processing you need to throw at inspecting/analyzing/blocking every packet over port 80 will be financially inaccessible to all but large companies.

    Again, the problem is not that programmers are incompetent, or that connections are unencrypted; just that maintaining a secure network, in the face of hostile applications (both inside and out) demands filtering rules for TCP/IP. Tunneling everything over HTTP threatens to damage such efforts in a really, really, bad way.

  • but I doubt that MS will make it fully Linux xompatible (sic)...

    I suspect you're right. On the other hand (and speaking as a guy with very precious knowledge of the NET platform), I wouldn't be surprised if there are elements of the system that simply don't make sense for Linux, or that would require a herculean effort in order to implement. And even if that's not the case, it would be a convenient excuse for MS to not even try a full implementation.

    This is why I'd rather see a decent API set released for public consumption, so we could get folks interesting in building their own implementations busy. However, that's never going to happen. According to Ballmer, "...our overall strategy is not to get [non-Windows based] Web sites over to Windows, but we will provide a way for those Linux servers to use .NET." In other words, they can't allow competing implementations to pop up, or they run the risk of being hoisted by their own collective petard.

    "You owe me a case of beer. Sucka'."

  • Personally, Im not going to comment. I think that it is too soon to tell. Once there is an actual product out and it has been reviewed thoroughly (meaning that either I sit down and give it a shot or a trusted source like Dr Dobbs Journal comments on it) I am not going to give an opinion.

    I do agree that it is important to be a little leary of what has been said, but I don't feel that it is to early to proclaim victory or assume that Microsoft's strategy is purely selfish and they are going to make Linux look bad.

    Right now the best thing that the community can do is to keep an eye on what they [Microsoft] are doing and be aware of the potential steps they could take in ANY direction. Then it will be fair to react accordingly.
    "Counting in octal is just likst counting in decimal--if you don't use your thumbs."
  • How can they prevent you from this?
    The .NET is ECMA licensed, meaning that it's like BSD code, you can do whatever you want with ti.
  • Since they, like many others, use BSD code, I would doubt that they are against OS.
    I can easily see why they don't like GPL.
    Hell, I can see why they think GPL is "anti-american", wasn't it how they put it?
  • I would. I'm stuck developing 60% of my work on Win2000 as my company's tools are mostly Windows based; we'll be doing .NET platform when it exits hypeworld and enters the real world, and this would finally allow me to develop on the platform of *my* choice (ie Linux). So I'm not against the idea.
  • But Battlefield Earth proved one thing: any invading alien force can be defeated by a fleet of thousand-year-old Harrier jump-jets.
  • yeah, but then you're breaking the licence agreement.
  • Er, overall Linux use has crested and its use on the desktop is going down, not up. Down.

    Linux and *BSD are taking over.

    How many fingers?
    Huh? Blue.
    What is your name, son?

    ...8, 9, 10!

    Ok, fight's over.
  • This was probably a mistake by the reporter who misquoted him. It's hard for me to believe that he got something like that wrong.
    =\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\ =\=\=\=\
  • .NET is *not* bytecode.

  • WinME is NOT reliable.
    Now, if you want to talk about NT line, I might agree.
  • When Java was out, MS was *not* a small fish.
  • by BillyGoatThree ( 324006 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2001 @04:12PM (#366163)
    Tunneling over HTTP? SMTP?? WTF for? I've heard people say "so they can get around proxies". Ummm, hello--if I'm blocking it I want it blocked.

    The article I read said something about a "SOAPAction" header that you could filter on. The trouble with it was three-fold though:

    1) Even the article claimed it's usage wasn't widespread.
    2) There didn't seem to be any requirement that the header correspond to reality.
    3) What if I want to have security based on the parameter values, not on the name of the method?

    What's worse, even a system admin rarely knows all the processes that are running on a Windows machine. There'll probably be SOAP servers embedded in Note-freaking-pad. Say goodbye to any sense of security...
  • by BillyGoatThree ( 324006 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2001 @09:05AM (#366164)
    MS To Work To Make .NET Run OSes Beyond Windows

    Wouldn't that be Gates' wet dream come true? I assume you mean "....NET Run On OSes Beyond Windows" though.

    In any case--what's all the hubbub? I just finished reading an article about SOAP. Sounded pretty neat. About as neat as when I was reading about RPC several years ago. And still no real difference than just plain old "networking".

    When I download my mail using an IMAP "FETCH" or POP3 "UIDL" how is that any different (besides generality) than a "remote procedure call" or "server object access"? Answer: It ain't. Yes, generality is important. No, it isn't a "breakthrough" or a "revolution". It certainly doesn't need to be invented (at least) 4 times (RPC, CORBA, XML-RPC, SOAP).

    Sure, SOAP and .NET are all new and shiny--but what do they provide? Don't confuse the shovel with the ditch, as I read somewhere recently. Updating your shovel with no benefit to either the shoveler or the ditch is just technological masturbation.
  • by vex24 ( 126288 )
    What platform do you want your vaporware to run on? Amiga?

    But seriously, folks... imagine a version of IIS for UN*X... "Application error: IIS cannot get root access to the system". muhahaha

  • "Sure, SOAP and .NET are all new and shiny--but what do they provide ? Don't confuse the shovel with the ditch, as I read somewhere recently. Updating your shovel with no benefit to either the shoveler or the ditch is just technological masturbation."

    Microsoft masterbating, there is a stunning image.

  • Yeah, but I think logically, not where each line should go. It frees me to write, not be an artist. Then again, Im not really a write, per se. Oh well, math is good, and LaTeX does it...

  • Haha, and what makes it even more hillarious is that HAL stands for Hardware Abstraction Layer.

    What a jerk.

  • Hardware Application Layer, a way for applications to modify the state of the hardware without entering the kernel context. No wonder why apps crash my machine so often...
  • You're right, most people don't know what an OS is. Now it wouldn't be a bad thing to educate them, but most people I know can barely handle windows, much less maintaining a linux box.

    There's a reason that windows has market share, and its not just predatory market techniques. It is too much easier to use than linux currently is. Too many idiots, let them use what they can. Make me a linux distro that my grandma can setup properly and I'll give it to her. Linux is getting better but we're not there yet.

  • I can't believe people still fall for that crap.

    I don't think that they will, either. .NET is a fad... it'll fall over like push did. The reason? Nobody besides microsoft wants it. (although that may be enough but I doubt it is)

  • Ohhh nooooo! More choices!!!!!!!!
  • "In the spirit of frankness and directness of the 21st Century, I never saw the movie," he said. "To most people at Microsoft, HAL stands for hardware application layer." -- Isn't this like a right of passage for all techies?
  • So what you're saying is that SOAP gets you off? The showers must be sticky at your place.
  • Unless .NET is an openly specified standard, it may as well be Windows to me.

    but that's the whole point of MS implementing .NET on linux: they must implement the platform on at least two systems before it can be approved as a standard by the ECMA [].

    if you really want to see an example of vendor lock in, check here [].
  • I liked your sig.

    Could you tell me what source you took it from? I wanna check it out.
  • I believe you, but first show me the average linux user who would readily pay for msoffice.
  • I knew M$ would do something like this. They have decided that since they can't beat 'em, join 'em, and make 'em rotten from the inside. M$ will probably release .NET server side products for Linux, but they won't work as well as those on MS Windows. Big corporate people look at the numbers from netcraft, see how bad .NET performs on Linux vs how it performs on MS Win XP, and they will say no to linux, effectively killing linux off the corporate radar screen.

    I could be wrong. But knowing how MS operates, I can see this as being a Very Bad Thing(TM). If they wanted to give a good show of faith to the linux faithful, they would port MS Office and be done with it.

  • Microsoft is certainly extending the reach of their technology with this announcement... but remember, it is _their_ technology. So, only half of your mantra applies here.
  • But they have proven to be anti-open source with recent comments from one of their exec's.

    No, they've proven themselves to be anti-GPL, which is 100% completely understandable. The GPL is too viral to be used where a company has hopes of making money off of their software. Don't misquote people. It reflects poorly on you.

  • Posted by ryanflynn:

    If everyone at Microsoft died today and all their supprot, knowledge base, etc. was destroyed forever I'd bet that M$ Windoze would be on 50%+ of desktops for the next 20 years. Is this really news? .NET is built on XML which is a world-wide standard like HTML. M$ would actually have to take steps in order to keep other OSes from being compatible with .NET, but it's not worth the effort. They know other OSes will figure it out regardless of what they do, so why not make it open? Good PR anyhow.
  • by jafac ( 1449 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2001 @09:06AM (#366182) Homepage
    Ah yes, Java, Office, IE, NT...

    Produce software for other platforms to get people "hooked on" proprietary file formats. Support the other platforms as good as necessary, (often not as good as the native platform, some features missing, some features don't work the same, perform poorly, not fully compatible, some features just plain broken) then when their data is captive, and unmigratable, fuck em.

    Office for Macintosh, IE for just about anything other than Windows, NT for Alpha, PPC, and MIPS.

    The ONLY way Microsoft could be trusted (by a Linux shop wishing to adopt .NET for Linux), is if they opened the source, and kept it open, so that if there were any features that were not implemented with full parity, the OSC could fill it in, and if MS breaks something ("accidentally", or otherwise), it can be fixed, and if MS drops support at a later date to force people to migrate to Windows because their data is held captive in a proprietary format, the format can be reverse-engineered and the customer could at least contract a rogue developer to write a conversion tool.

    But it's not likely we'll see an open .NET.

    I can't believe people still fall for that crap.
  • actually, i thought it was hardware abstraction layer...
  • Probably the journalist screwing up.
  • I tried to watch it too, but it was too wierd and boring.
    I guess I lacked the right "stuff" to smoke while watching it.
    "all the colors of the 'bow, man'" :-)

  • This is the standard M$ move ... Then, slowly, they will leverage the desktop to work into the server market.

    You describe the standard MS playbook. But, .NET in general is not the standard MS playbook.

    Ballmer has the government to the left of him, and a seriously depressed stock value to the right of him, and .NET is an attempt to have his cake and eat it too: They can move to cross-platform server space and still "own the platform", as well as leverage the Windows monopoly to get people there.

    If they get broken up by the government, or voluntarily split to raise the stock price, .NET allows the "Application" group to divorce itself from the Windows codebase. The problem is, they have just about zero credibility on Unix and with ISPs/ASPs. By doing a soft rollout, they can work the kinks out of .NET on Unix while the Microsoft legion charges ahead and develops on Windows. Then, when the breakup happens (maybe sooner than originally planned!), they've already got a cross-platform product which has been tested and somewhat deployed.

    Just add the client pieces, and then it's business as usual - it makes breaking off the application group from the OS side much easier.
  • not if you change that requirement in the registry :-)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2001 @08:56AM (#366188)
    Hell is freezing over.
  • I can believe, "it'll work with Linux, but we'll disable the useful features for anything non-MS based", but I doubt that MS will make it fully Linux xompatible...
  • hmmph, I write all my papers in emacs. Then I LaTeX them into dvi, dvips, ps2pdf, and get a document that just about any computer can read. For how much money? None!!

  • by bobalu ( 1921 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2001 @08:57AM (#366191)
    Embrace and extend, embrace and extend, embrace and extend....

    As the Talking Heads said so well:

    "Same as as it ever was, same as it ever was..."
  • you'll have to license some big chunk-o-M$ software to do it .... plobably only runs on M$-Apache .... embrace and extend here we come ....
  • While on the surface, it doesn't appear to be great, it does appear to be a good step for M$. They acknowledged the existence of other OSes, in a business sense.

    Not likely that they're going to go out and revolutionise things as we know it, but in some senses the working to incorporate other OSes could force MS to stabalize the current known problems in their OS as they work for compatibility (IE a bug here could prevent something else from working at ALL). Also, this forces them to start actually competing against other OSes, instead of attempting to warhammer them. If some company was on the edge of the MS/Linux battle, an MS release FOR linux could be enough to convince someone to GO TO LINUX!!

    Overall, this could be good. It could be bad. I hope for the first, I suspect we likely will see the second. When we do, it's a great chance for the alternate OSes to stomp on MS and pick up a good quantity of marketshare, and help DOJ's case on the monopoly issue. :)
  • Do you really know what you're talking about? .NET is just like Java in that it makes use of bytecode, which means INTERPRETED EVERYWHERE. Just-in-time compilers will likely be used in the same capacity they are now with Java to make .NET bytecode run at acceptable speeds. Most .NET applications will end up distributed at MSIL (Microsoft Intermediate Language) which can be converted to native code by a JIT compiler. The only advantage MS platforms will have is the various undocumented/poorly documented API calls that are part of .NET. However, even those can be considered native code. Look at Wine, for example. It's not emulating the API calls, it's native reimplementation of the Win32 API calls for X11 and Linux/BSD.

    Even though there are a number of Microsoft-ism function calls as part of the .NET framework, the majority are pretty generic. The parts that implementors of .NET on other platforms will have problems with are the System.WinForms set of classes. However, even for this, much of the code that was developed as part of the Wine project could be used, since Winelib isn't as platform specific as the Wine standalone executable is.

  • This news is reaaly five months old, this just confirms what all the Tech press was saying back in October when MS invested $135Mus in Corel.

    BYTE:Analyzing Microsoft's Corel Investment Strange Bedfellows: Curiouser And Curiouser []

    ZDNet: Microsoft .NET for Linux? []
    WIRED: Corel, Microsoft form alliance
  • by Rupert ( 28001 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2001 @09:07AM (#366204) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, if the President of the company doesn't know that HAL stands for Hardware Abstraction Layer, how good can it be?

  • When M$ realizes that it has to start making its junk work on Linux, doesen't that say something?


  • Yeah, that's what I thought too.

    Office isn't bad software - I'm waiting for the day after the breakup when Windows and Office are made by different companies - the applications company will want to make software for Linux. Then MS won't be able to leverage its Office monopoly to backup the Windows monopoly and vice-versa. Pray the appeals court sees the light...

    I tried the latest version of StarOffice. Saves files as Word docs in formats newer than my copy of Word. It saved me the trouble of buying/acquiring Powerpoint, since the presentation software is an exact ripoff of Powerpoint.

    If you're a corporate user, or somebody else who has to pay full price for software, I just can't see how you can justify buying MS Office - it's $599 for a legit copy. The costs to convert to StarOffice would have to be cheaper.
  • Would you care to place a wager on your numbers? Nothing short of a nuclear blast in Redmond is going to reduce Windows to 50% of the desktop market in 2-4 years.

    If you want to put your money where your mouth is, let me know. I'd be more than happy to take this bet.


  • The above post is more than a little paranoid. But the paranoia makes sense, given previous behavior by MS.

    Standards "extensions", "copy protection", Allchin's recent comments about the need to "educate" legistalators, the Java breakage, FUD, and all the other standard Microsoft tactics mean that any "support" for anything that MS provides is often a cause for concern.

    You don't see a hundred posts about how IBM or Oracle or Sun has nefarious intentions whenever they do anything Linux-related because they don't have the same track record as Microsoft does - none of them are saints, but at they don't center their business on anti-competitive tactics.
  • Ahh, but big business sometimes needs an expediant and cheap solution to make things work. I'm sure there will be more than one company that says: "Well, we've got all this Unix stuff running, and we can't just start over on WinNT, but .Net is such an industry powerhouse...
    "Let's just buy the stupid software and get this thing running now!"

    Too bad that the opportunity costs will be once again, an unstable OS.

    "M$: Some of our protocols are just inherently incompatible with Linux/Unix. We cannot make Linux less prone to crashing when running .Net services. That's the developers of that OS's problem, but WinNT, Win2k, and WinXP run .Net services wonderfully!"

  • and the worst thing is that that acronym expansion isn't even right. :)
    back when MS was trying to push NT as a cross-platform (x86, Alpha, PPC, etc), HAL stood for Hardware Abstraction Layer.

    "If ignorance is bliss, may I never be happy.
  • It's got *nothing* to do with embrace and extend.

    Microsoft is about one thing: making lots of money.

    And it has finally understood that Gillette has it figured out: sell the handle cheap, and make your money on the blades.

    Microsoft can't make great money on OS sales any more. Hasn't for ages. And it faces the same problem with its Office products: overpirated, and darn difficult to convince companies to pony up $1000 to upgrade.

    Ever hear the saying that whomever controls the gate, controls the kingdom? If you're a gatekeeper, you control the flow of *everything.* And that includes cash.

    Microsoft is about to become a gatekeeper.

    Instead of relying on sales of software -- which has the overwhelming cost of actually writing the software and the uncertainty of competition -- they're going to skim a few cents off *every* software transaction, no matter who wrote the software.

    It's huge money. Every software developer who wants to get rich will be buying into .NET, because it ensures steady cashflow: instead of selling a package once, you get to sell it every time it is used. Yowsa! Make a million by selling a hundred million pennies to a hundred million people, instead of a thousand dollar package to, god hopes, a hundred thousand people.

    And Microsoft? They get to skim a fraction of a penny from every transaction. But that's going to be million of transactions every day, with bugger all for development costs, and no competition. Easy money.

    And the more software they can get on .NET, the better off they are. Hence, supporting Linux. Hey, you want to use the Gaussian Blur in GIMP? That'll be one-tenth of a cent, payable to the GIMP developers. Microsoft will score 1/10th of that tenth... that's a cool $1000 for every 100000 uses: roughly 5x what they'd make selling a single copy of Office, once its development and support costs are factored in!

    Microsoft has really got a great scheme figured out here.

    And I sure hope that it fails, because I loathe the idea of Microsoft as gatekeeper.

  • Um, thats great and all, but .NET != SOAP. SOAP is just one teeny little piece of the whole picture.

  • Then I LaTeX them

    Well, not everyone wants to program his documents...

    (I'm using \LaTeX{}, too, but I wouldn't expect others to do the same)

  • BIND supports the DNS "SRV" extension and Dynamic DNS, has done so for quite some time.
    For sure BIND 9, probably also recent versions of BIND 8.
  • by MECC ( 8478 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2001 @09:12AM (#366250)
    The most telling part of the article is that Steve Ballmer hasen't seen the movie '2001 A Space Odyssey'. He and everyone at Microsoft thinks that HAL means hardware abstraction layer :-)

    This will be just another embrace-and-engulf move to try to polute other platforms in addition to making the transition away from other platforms to windows easier. A smart move on their part, but bad for folks in the trenches.

    I went to the forbes site and looked at the list of fortune 500 companies, and then checked at netcraft to see what they were running as web servers, and then tallied up the first 100. 55 - Netscape Enterprise, 26 - IIS, 15 - Apache (I didn't count Walmart). Of the first 50, only 2 sites were running Exchange.

    .Not will probably make it due to monopoly influence, not, of course, on its own merits. It'll be interesting to watch Microsoft's virus problem mushroom like a nuclear bomb...

  • Having read the better responses in this article's thread, I'd just like to say one or two more things:

    Either everyone else is out to lunch about what .NET is about, or I am.

    If the latter, I hereby lay claim on my "gatekeeper of software" idea. I'd like to work with someone to develop it, and, yes, my license fee will be as reasonable as yours: I'll skim from you a percentage equal to what you skim from others.


  • Ballmer doesn't know his own products.

    AFAIK, it is never Hardware Application Layer

    I wish this mattered, but no one is left who believes M$ knows what they're talking about, anyway.
  • I don't know about you, but I always feed my python SOAP when he tries to swallow guests. It's the only way he behaves well enough to not be kept in the tank . . .


    hawk, ducking & running

  • I personally am more interested in using XML-RPC with Zope, but the fine folks at PythonWare have a sample implementation of the Soap 1.1 protocol (or so they claim). Take a look at it here []

  • "Office for Macintosh, IE for just about anything

    With all due respect, especially since I trust MS about as fart as I can throw them, but Office for the Macintosh is superior to Office for the PC and fully compatible as long as you know PC Office limitations(yes, you read right, Limitations of the PC version of Office when compared to the Mac version of Office). For example, don't go putting Quicktime movies in a PowerPoint presentation that is destined for PC. The PC can't handle it.

    Windows version of IE is just starting to get features mac users have enjoyed for YEARS. Nice cookie filtering, nice GUI, and better standards support, et al. Granted, MS proprietary web design doesnt work on Mac IE as well as it does on PC, but thats to their disadvantage since over 50% of the web is made on a Mac.

    MS sucks, but they aren't screwing thier Mac customers.

  • Glad to see that the Linux zealots at Slashdot have really matured over the years. My question: Is it fear of M$ that makes them act so bizarrely, or are they just not that bright to begin with?


  • by plover ( 150551 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2001 @11:51AM (#366271) Homepage Journal
    Management will see *nix stability with MS software.

    Yes, but what they'll end up with is *nix prices and MS stability.


  • * They will release binaries that harm your system integrity, by either sending MS information about your systems, opening up specific ports, or some other similar mechanism.

    Hate to break it to you, but they already do this.

    Check in...OK! Check out...OK!
  • <raises hand>

    I purchased Office 97 Pro a few years back (granted, I got a student discount 'cause I was taking a graduate course, but I still paid $150+ for it).

    Why? Because it's what everyone else uses. We use it at work, friends use it at home, etc., etc. I'd tried for years to get compatible applications for my NeXT, and never succeeded much, so...gotta bite the bullet. And, truthfully, it's a damned good set of programs. Once you get past the occasional heinous bug.

    I've played with StarOffice, and it just wasn't there yet (this was over a year ago, I think). Dunno about the Corel offerings.

  • You forgot extinguish.
    Embrace ... extend ... extinguish.
  • Who knows... Microsoft might find out that .NET runs best on Os's with an X!

    Yeah, but if they do find this out, they won't publish the results or allow the results to be published by a third party. (I'm thinking here of the story last week that MS SQL runs faster on NT than on 2000 but that MS won't let the professor publish his findings.)

  • According to Steve Ballmer's bio [], his degrees are in mathematics and economics. Gates and Allen were/are the geeks. Ballmer's a suit. This would explain his mangling of "hardware abstraction layer".

    He probably thinks Hackers was a better movie than Antitrust, too. (Which is true, but in the same unfortunate way Howard the Duck was better than Battlefield Earth.)

    We're not scare-mongering/This is really happening - Radiohead
  • .NET is shaping up to be the best documentated thing MS has ever produced. No kidding. Look around on MSDN, and notice that amount of real technical stuff that exists - this is before the entire platform is out.

    But of course you are right about vendor-lock in, MS has raised the stakes considerably by making vendor lock-in far far more attractive. By leveraging Linux and maybe even the BSD OS, they will be further pushing thier Windows platform.
  • by jafac ( 1449 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2001 @11:55AM (#366300) Homepage
    Office for Mac is already crippleware.
    MS Access? Visual Basic support? not that I or anyone I know gives a crap about that, but these are bullet-points that are on Windows, not on Mac.
    You also forget the HISTORY of Office for Mac. It has been "used as a club" quite effectively in the past. Don't let their marketroids fool you. The second they feel Apple isn't playing nice anymore (OpenStep for Windows runtime?), Office will be swinging down on someone's head.

    Java - MS isn't yet finished with java. Why let a little thing like a $20M judgement stop them?

    I wasn't specifically referring to IE on Mac, how 'bout IE Solaris? Aren't there also some Windows only features of IE?

    Samba - MS has broken Samba with service packs in the past. Some claim that was intentional. Truth be told, if you're integrating Active Directory Win2k networks with Unix, Samba isn't as full-featured as a lot of NT admins would like. Authentication is broken because of Microsoft's intentionally broken Kerberos implementation.

    How about another example? How about C++? Is programming for Windows actually coding in C++? Or is it more accurately described as Writing in MFC? I'm not personally a Windows coder, but I am constantly hearing comments about how MS's implementation of C++ is not really object oriented, and obviously not portable, of course, which was the original intent of C in the first place, right?

    My point is simple: Microsoft has no lasting need to provide support for any OS other than 'doze, and any hardware other than x86. They may do it on a temporary basis for the purpose of pushing other players out of a market space, or getting customers committed then hanging them out to dry, but in the long run, they want Windows everyware. Microsoft's long term goals do not include writing software for every platform out there. That's too expensive. It's much easier to make every platform out there theirs.

  • by kanayo ( 311491 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2001 @11:20AM (#366307) Homepage
    Don't be impressed, and more importantly, don't be fooled. .NET IS the platform, stupid! They have just altered the game a bit, but the strategy and the aim is still the same - vendor lock-in and world domination. It doesn't matter how and under what operating system you develope for .NET. Even if you run Linux locally, you are still developing for and under .NET. The stakes are even higher this time, considering it isn't just a local operating system, but a global internet-wide platform.

    Unless .NET is an openly specified standard, it may as well be Windows to me.
  • Java: Yes, Microsoft tried to embrace, extend and extinguish it. And they failed miserably. There are still plenty of pure Java apps that work cross-platform.

    Office: Word and Excel started out on the Mac, and Mac versions of Office are still every bit as good as their Windows counterparts. Office 2001 has been a huge cash cow for MS, and they've committed to port to OS X. It's highly unlikely that they'll be cancelling support or making crippleware versions of Office for Mac any times soon-- the market is just too lucrative.

    IE: IE for Mac is arguably the best web browser on the market. I use it on a daily basis, and I've rarely had problems with it. It's head and shoulders above Netscape for Mac, and is in some ways better than IE for Windows.

    NT: yes, there were perfunctory attempts to make NT cross-platform, but those died pretty fast. And it's not like Microsoft had anything to gain by screwing over the PPC or the Alpha-- they don't have a major stake in the x86 market. The simple fact was that x86 was cheapest and had the largest market share and most mature base of compatible hardware. Supporting the other platforms simply wasn't worth the effort.

    Now, with that said, if I were a Linux user I would be extremely suspicious of running Microsoft products, because you're right-- they probably will produce half-assed versions of .net for alternative platforms. But it's not like this is going to allow them to take over the free software market.

    In addition, the Open Source community is amazingly good at reverse-engineering closed protocols and writing compatible Unix versions. If .net takes off, I'm sure within a matter of months someone will reverse engineer the protocols and file formats and write an open source clone that the community can use to connect to .net services. Samba allows us to interconnect Windows and Unix file and print services, without any help from MS. Why would .net be any different?
  • Anyone who believes Microsoft will allow Linux to ride .NET in "First Class" is fooling themselves. We won't even get a *seat* in "cargo".

    Sure, there will "be" some support for Linux. One only has to remember Microsoft's other "efforts":
    1) Office on the Mac (think it's reliable? Send your resume out from it, without proofing on the Windows version..)
    2) Streaming Media on UNIX. They even had a Linux binary, remember. It was so clever of them to trumpet "crossplatform support", while withholding minor features like the CODECS needed to play video!
    3) IE For UNIX. Stop laughing... I have this friend who says he knows someone who once had a neighbor who downloaded it. Don't laugh -- IE is now required by companies with lazy QA departments and HTML coders with dyslexia. My credit card company's onliine application pages have *broken HTML tages* that render a blank page in Netscape. They won't even fix something that simple... but they will miss the point by saying "we're following the marketshare of Linux closely". Grr...

    They can't even properly support HTML. They go out of their way to hide service packs for Windows, so you have to use Windows Update which of course mandates IE (it's HTML, but structured so if you don't use IE, there's no fallback rendering of the page... not even an FTP-like list of files).

    They're trying to give the peception that this thing is as inevitable as anything they do. It will be vaporware long after the mainstream press reports on this as if it already happened...
  • by Jason Earl ( 1894 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2001 @10:46AM (#366323) Homepage Journal

    Heck, the open source community stands a good chance of getting to .NET before Microsoft does. After all, what is .NET running applications over the Internet with SOAP.

    It might come as a surprise, but the open source community is well on it's way to having application servers that are .NET compatible right now. Apache's working on SOAP, Ximian is working on SOAP-based SOUP, there are SOAP clients and servers for every scripting language that runs on Linux, and the list goes on and on.

    Ballmer has to mention that these services are available for Linux, otherwise the folks in the media will realize that the Open Source community is building the infrastructure without Microsoft's help. At least this way Ballmer can pretend that the Open Source community is following MS's tail-lights.

  • See, I firmly believe that MS took to heart the idea that 'the browser is the OS.' Certainly they've been working to kill off Netscape and Java for years, it's so threatening. But at the end of the day, even they know that the real two big monopolies are Office and IE. Windows is very nice, but is ultimately expendible. .Net is an attempt to combine these two monopolies in order to preserve them and in hopes that it will be more a monopoly than the sum of the two parts.

    So, assuming that MS retains Windows, they'll keep the .net client software on it, and it alone. This drives people to their OS, to use their apps, with their browser.

    If an insanely compelling alternative OS comes out that can't be competed with, .Net is sufficiently portable to let MS take over two whole markets on it near-instantly if they desire, then use those to harm the OS. (eg the shenannigans they pull on the Mac side with Office)

    If MS is broken up into an OS company and an Apps/Internet company, the latter is still in a position to dominate the market by porting .net to other platforms. They may no longer have any real reason to conduct shenannigans, but their software is more compelling to users than an OS is. If they withdraw from a platform, that platform will lose all the users who use .net, and the network effects will seriously damage it.

    I suspect that MS has been working to get .net clients - which is largely IE - working on Linux and the Mac. But most of it will not be released unless they feel that they have to. Their software may be crap, but they're very smart guys, and it'll take decades or a sea change on the scale of the entire microcomputing revolution to dislodge them. OSS is certainly not big enough, and the Internet has proven not to be either. So you get an idea of how big a change you'd need.
  • This would only surprise me if they released source code. My guess is one of the following:

    * They will release source code, but it's just a repackaging of the currently-available SOAP stuff for Linux

    * They will release binaries that really, really suck, so they can say "Linux sucks"

    * They will release binaries that harm your system integrity, by either sending MS information about your systems, opening up specific ports, or some other similar mechanism.

    Call me paranoid, but if its anything else, I will be truly shocked and amazed.
  • Yes, I read all that as well (after posting the first response).

    However, it isn't just Python that is lacking decent SOAP tools. Apparently it is quite difficult to get any two SOAP tools to interoperate. Python's SOAP tools are just especially non-interoperable :). In the meantime XML-RPC works today, and SOAP will almost certainly be available for Python if and when SOAP actually becomes an important protocol.

    The fact of the matter is that Microsoft is not going to be able to keep .NET a Microsoft only incantation, and I would bet that they won't even be substantial front-runners.

    Ballmer can pretend that Microsoft is simply being magnamanious, and giving the tech to Linux and these other OSes, but that's not even remotely the case. Microsoft is building their next big piece of tech on a fairly open set of protocols, and the Open Source community is happy to take their research and turn it into working tools.

  • Wait, let me guess:

    1. They open up - "see, they're trying to sucker us in, to extinguish us"

    2. They keep things closed - "see, they're trying to tie us in to one platform"

    Will you guys ever ne happy with what they do? They're trying to run a business, not a community.
    OliverWillis.Com []
  • Do you have a fucking clue what .Net is?

    Subscription based service in which the server does most of the processing, and a client interface makes the user feel just like they are using Word on their own machine.

    This is largely created because new computer sales are slowing down and M$'s revenue stream is slowing proportionally. Also, M$ is totally pissed off about copies of their software, particularly in Asia. If people want to use M$'s software, they will pay a subscription fee and use .NET.

    And, according to M$, the .NET servers can be running linux.
  • Who knows... Microsoft might find out that .NET runs best on Os's with an X!


  • by micromoog ( 206608 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2001 @09:02AM (#366339)
    Asked whether he was disappointed that the world has yet to see a real HAL, the menacing yet highly intelligent computer in Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey," Ballmer made an unlikely confession.

    "In the spirit of frankness and directness of the 21st Century, I never saw the movie," he said. "To most people at Microsoft, HAL stands for hardware application layer."

    That explains everything.

  • by blakestah ( 91866 ) <> on Tuesday March 13, 2001 @09:02AM (#366341) Homepage
    They want linux support on the servers. They are not going to support .NET on linux clients.

    This is the standard M$ move. They will allow anyone to be a .NET server, but only Windows can be clients. Then, slowly, they will leverage the desktop to work into the server market.

    You can note the recent incompatibility with name service in Windows2000 to try to leverage Windows into the DNS server market.
  • It's simple: Microsoft is simply deploying .net technology for Linux in order to take over the Linux market. It's the old "embrace and extend" strategy. First they will embrace Linux, get a lot of people hooked on .net technology (which will be forced on people through Windows licensing requirements on manufacturers), then they will come out with incompatible technology that requires changes to the Linux kernel. Since so many people will be using .net, the major packages will be forced to mold the kernel to Microsoft's specifications. If they don't, then the kernel will have to split because of the public outcry.

    And thus it's done: Microsoft will have taken over Linux. They will have taken control of the kernel.

    And if you believe any of that bullshit above, you may be ready to join the Slashdot "inner circle". :)


  • They want linux support on the servers. They are not going to support .NET on linux clients.

    This is the standard M$ move. They will allow anyone to be a .NET server, but only Windows can be clients. Then, slowly, they will leverage the desktop to work into the server market.

    In case you weren't looking, Microsoft already has the desktop. Microsoft has been taking solid aim at the server market for a long time now, an area where it is still getting beaten by Linux and Solaris. What good would it do Microsoft to help Linux out in the server market? Why would Microsoft want Linux to be a more viable desktop if it wants to use its existing massive installed base on the desktop as leverage on the server side? They know someone could write pam_passport tomorrow, but seeing a BizTalk server on Linux is not likely for a while.
  • I'll bet against you to dude.
  • by RollingThunder ( 88952 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2001 @09:03AM (#366363)
    I also suspect that this will go much the way of support for Alphas has... the first version or two will support non-Win2K, tying companies into support agreements they can't get out of. Then once they're bound, make the new version Win2K+X only. Watch ASP's convert against their will.
  • Who knows... Microsoft might find out that .NET runs best on Os's with an X!

    Ya mean like Windows XP?

  • Don't bother developing .NET for Linux, we'll do it. Really, we will...

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.