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Full Frontal Assault on Apache? 198

MacJedi writes "Freshmeat has an excellent article about a possible Microsoft strategy to capture the web from both the server and the client ends. " The article itself does a good job of dissecting recent comments from Steve Ballmer, as well as what some of the new items in Win2k portend for our favorite web server.
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Full Frontal Assault on Apache?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Why don't you read the article before replying?? It says nothing of MS using Apache. It's about the integration of a MS webserver into win2000.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    IIRC, when IBM adopted Apache, part of the deal they made with the
    Apache team was that they (IBM) would contribute their NT knowledge
    base to Apache development. Thus making Apache on NT a credible

    I don't know what the status of that work is, at present.
  • If M$ wanted to use Apache, they could. In reality, they wouldn't even have to publish source code. Apache is NOT released under the GPL. It has it's own license, which is BSD-ish. The fact is, M$ hasn't done it yet, which isn't to say it won't, but it is less likely.

    There is the issue that Apache is currently process based, and processes suck on Windows. The current Apache on NT is a threaded server, but it is more of a hack than anything else. The work being done on 2.0 removes the hacks, and lets Apache on *nix be a hybrid Thread/Process, or Process based server, and on Windows a threaded server (with a monitor process).

    I don't think the Apache group really needs to worry about MS taking the code, but if they do, who cares. As long as the program works when released.
  • It's not really explorer that Microsoft appropriated, it's the drawing of the UI elements themselves.

    Windows 3.x UI drawing routines were loosly based on the Macintosh. Basically, a framed box was a button, and controls were often framed with simple black lines.

    When Microsoft Office 6(or was it 5) came out about a year befor Win95, they had added the 3D look in feel. When they were integrated into Windows 95 they changed a bit, and almost all 3D elements (etched lines, buttons, etc...) were pixel perfect duplicates of how NextStep draws their 3D elements.

    Frankly, it was a drastic improvement over Win3.x and really made it look like a modern graphical OS.

    Aside from that one minor appropriation, Microsoft did not learn a lot from the NeXT. That's too bad, because even today NEXTSTEP holds up as a very good OS.
  • Since when have KDE and GNOME been mutually exclusive? This has been the only point that makes me a little upset in the whole KDE/GNOME thing... and here's my take:

    Run them both. "But KDE and GNOME have different windows managers!" No! No, no, no. KDE has it's own windows manager, KWM, but it's not an absolute must. I personally don't like KWM, so I don't use it. I do like some of the "K" apps, so I use them.

    I also like some gnome apps.. so I use them...

    As long as you have the QT and KDE libs installed, KOffice should run.
  • Apache is under the BSD liscense, not the GPL. It would be perfectly legal not to publish the source for proprietary extensions.
  • >>>
    The start menu is about the worst UI concept I've ever seen.

    ...which is why MacOS has had it in its original form (the Apple menu) for fifteen years,and KDE and GNOME have their own versions of it?

    Come on, tell us why the start menu is such a bad concept."Because it's Microsoft" doesn't count.
  • Point 1: Sure, but it doesn't bother me. I guess I'm never frantically mousing around all the time. Moving my hand an extra 5 centimeters is no big deal.

    Point 2: Clutter isn't a problem with the interface. It's a problem with the user. ;)

    Point 3: I must be one of the 10 Windows users who actually does place frequently used apps in proper folders in the Start Menu. And the only shortcuts I place on the desktop are apps that I can drag and drop text or multimedia files onto (plus a binary file editor for everything else). Seeing a zillion icons on a Windows desktop really irritates me.

    Point 4: Agreed. But I wouldn't say that WindowMaker's menu configuration (the included one and wmakerconf) is any better in its current state.
  • Posted by The Future Sound of London:

    Has anyone ever determined how many people have actually died as a direct result of depending on Mikrosoft technology?

    How much blood is on their hands?
  • Posted by My_Favorite_Anonymous_Coward:

    I pretty much 95% sure that AOL has already made their AolToaster/AOLbox/AolOS and silently waiting for the MS anti-trust case to finish.

  • That's the wrong way around: if they want to push IIS, they'll want to leverage support on other platforms to that end, meaning they'll go further towards IIS-only extensions in IE. They already push their own proprietary alternative to WebDAV: if you try and use it and your ISP doesn't support it, you'll get an error message suggesting you switch to a different ISP.

    However, I'm pretty sure they'll fail.
    Employ me! Unix,Linux,crypto/security,Perl,C/C++,distance work. Edinburgh UK.
  • Part of the problem is that the standard installation stuff is not very start bar savvy; almost every app creates a new folder off of the programs branch and plunks everything it needs in there. If the installation tools were smarter, better use of subfolders could be made so the clutter would be hidden most of the time.

    You can press the "Windows" key, if you have one, to open the start menu, and then cursor control keys to select items.

    As for 4), right-clicking the start bar gives you a menu including an "explore" option. Since the start menu is represented within the file system, it opens an explorer pane to that part of the file system. Perhaps Properties would be a better name for it.

    It really should have a "recent programs" thingie, where the things most recently done from the start menu or desktop shortcuts are stored.

    I found I used the start menu a lot more once I created new folders on the main menu, and put my most important stuff into those folders -- so I only have one sub-menu to hit.
  • Face it -- Microsoft missed the Internet while
    it was already built into UNIX. Even if Microsoft
    includes a web service in Windows 2000, and even
    if it's faster than Apache, so what because:

    1. Remote server administration: Would you be
    able to "telnet" into your Win 2000 box and
    reboot it??? How about general remote admin
    ability??? I doubt it. To do most admin tasking
    you'll have to sitting right there at the console.

    2. FTP services, email services, news services:
    are those also going to included in Win 2000???
    I doubt it. Again, Linux wins.

    3. Programming and development: compilers, perl,
    python, ... are any of those going to included
    in Win 2000 too??? Not bloody likely. Again,
    the choice is Linux.

    I could prattle on for ever listing more but
    I gotta go.
  • Do you have specifics to back this up? Otherwise it's just more FUD

    easy. In Unix systems, you have r00t and the unwashed masses, and that's it.

    On NT, you have specific rights like "Back Up the System" or "Log On as a Service" or "Change the System Time" which means you can assign specific rights to specific users without ever needing one All Powerful Account.

    A clue: you can't dis NT until you actually know it. Since you don't, nothing you say has any weight.

  • They're doing what they've always done, protecting their own interests. Microsoft has always been about one thing: Money. I realized it when I saw what they did back in August '95 with Windows 95. They slapped a slick NeXT'ish shell on a bloated, buggy, crackwhore of an OS. They want to draw people in with flash and fluff then gouge them for unnecessary upgrades and technical support.

    Microsoft hates their customers. They say it when they blame others for obvious flaws in their products (Word virii, IIS exploits, Back Oriface, etc). They say it when they flash vaporware at people months/years before releasing the first crappy v1.0 beta. They say it when their EULA basically says "you're stuck with us now. Like it or lump it."

    Their customers want something that's fast, stable, robust, and easy to administer. Now, since I'm a bit above the average Windows user (That's actually not meant to be boastful. It gets tiring when I'm constantly picking up other people's messes because I'm the only one who knows how) so to me, changing "MaxSpareServers" to a reasonable value in some .conf file seems more user friendly and easier to administer than trying to hunt through help files and an obtuse GUI to find the same setting in the laberynthine Windows Registry.

    Microsoft could care less what their customers want. As long as people continue to pay them $90 for a bug-fix that's three years late, they'll continue to pay lip service to their customers (Remember, lies cost nothing) while they continue on their merry way to their next billion.
  • by Matts ( 1628 ) on Wednesday June 30, 1999 @07:18AM (#1825137) Homepage
    Frontpage 2000 (which implements all the upload stuff which you wrote about) is going to be DAV compatible, as are the new frontpage server extensions (yuck!). Unsurprisingly Apache has a mod_dav available which implements the full DAV standard, and they've even done some work with MS to get the FPSE up to scratch DAV-wise.

    So - you'll be able to do all that with Apache too - and the usual "and more.." stuff that goes with Apache too.


    perl -e 'print scalar reverse q(\)-: ,hacker Perl another Just)'
  • First of all, I don't even know who Jesse Berst is, why would he declare W2K, and who is listening to him anyway?

    Second... W2K does address issues of stability and TCO.

    Third... Microsoft is smart enough to know that web servers aren't a money making market. IIS is just a link in the chain. They'll continue to give it away for free, and then integrate nice easy hooks into it to make publishing with Office the next best thing since sliced bread, which will encourage Office and NT sales...

    Fourth... ActiveX is incredibly useful for internal application development. You need to first be familiar with Windows DNA and COM to understand.

    The thing a lot of people don't seem to understand is that Microsoft and IIS is #1 for corporate intranet web and application deployment.

    The internet world is different, requiring totally different feature sets than intranet requires.
  • Launch apps / file system from a server? Sounds kinf od like X, doesn't it?

    X may be a bit clunky at times, but i think the concept of a central application server is awsome. Upgrade software? 1 machine.
  • It's always been easier to infiltrate proprietary technology into intranets than into the wider Internet where interoperability is more important. But it's worth remembering why intranets are called intranets this year (and not LANs or company networks or whatever they were called before). Because eventually the benefits of open standards technologies always come to outweigh the costs of dumping the proprietary stuff. Proprietary technologies are always a dead end.

    So Microsoft wins the battle for Intranet HTTP servers. So what? All they've done is buy themselves some time. The vast oceans of open standards lapping at the firewall are not going to go away.

    The second weakness of this strategy is that it's based on *forcing* people to use IIS. People don't like to be forced to do things. Every time Microsoft forces someone to do something, they're breeding another convert to the Open Source Way. This is a lesson they need to learn badly.

  • people don't need web servers on their desktop

    Potentially dangerous assumption.

    Who was it that said "People don't need computers!"...?

    Who knows what applications/scenarios might arise to take advantage of a new scenario in which all computers (even lowly consumer ones) are *assumed* to have the ability to serve web-pages?

    Keep in mind Microsoft's 'insider advantage' in terms of integrating new/little-known features of IE, Office and god knows whatall else with this new standard capability.
  • Although I think an Apache for NT already exists (stable is another story), I pretty much agree with you on this. I'll take the article's forecast one step further and predict that MS intends to:

    1) bundle/integrate a full, free and proprietary IIS into W2K,
    2) use various methods, including unstable/slow publicly-available system code, to reduce or eliminate competitor's effectiveness (esp. Apache).

    They'll combine this bundling with a marketing effort (already beginning?) backed by "benchmarks", to make IIS look faster and easier to use.

    What to do? Maybe make Apache more ubiquitous (make it available on every ftp server in the world), publicize how easy it is to download, install and configure, etc.

    Additionally, blanket them with benchmarks. Fix whatever needs fixing, and benchmark, benchmark, benchmark. Let's saturate the news with comparisons representing "real-world conditions". Make MS's efforts to sow the seeds of doubt regarding choice of the best server futile. Make it clear that users can either use the easy "built-in" web server, or freely download something much better.

    (Remove "x"'s from

  • Look, go take a look at the most recent crack on ISS it's through port 80 alowing your to run ANY command AS administrator, it's not fixed yet. MS has not released a patch, there is a work around sort of but not realy.
    Who needs telnet?

  • I _think_ KOffice has a great deal of integration planned. The integration will be on the level of O2K ... it looks very ambitious. Check it out.

    The only problem for Office is the price. $800 for an Office suite? Yeah, my company would love those features, but at that price, it's easy to dissuade them. Especially with Y2K and all sorts of other worries in 2K.
  • My only experience with NeXT is with WindowMaker (a clone), but I can't see any similarity between explorer and windowmaker. Windowmaker is very elegant and useful, while explorer is frankly all-thumbs. The start menu is about the worst UI concept I've ever seen.
  • When people at work or friends ask me for help with their windows machines, I tell them "no, I can't help you, but if you want me to install linux I'll do that". I can't believe the amount of time I've wasted fixing my friends broken windows machines.
  • 1. It forces you to move your pointer to that portion of the screen to click on it. WindowMaker uses right mouse button to launch it's menu, so that you can get the menu from anywhere on the desktop. You can also "tear off" menus and stick them on the dektop. This is definitely an improvement.
    2. It gets too cluttered to use.
    3. I've noticed that no one ever uses it, probably due to (1). If users don't have a desktop icon for it, they think it isn't installed.
    4. Users can't figure out how to change it. More consistent with explorer UI would be to have a "properties" choice by right clicking the start button.

    I'm not sure if points 2,3 and 4 are fixable but they are problems nonetheless.
  • Is NT workstation limited to 10 workstations in a peer-to-peer workgroup for technical reasons or just because they coded in a license limit?

  • Is that some one who's only critical at a certain time of year?

    (or maybe they meant "ardent critic")

  • Cracked servers from HNN on 6/30/99 []
    look at the bottom of the page for the cracked servers

    [drew@drew drew]$ queso
    error: unknown host
    [drew@drew drew]$ queso * NT (SP4)
    [drew@drew drew]$ queso * NT (SP4)
    [drew@drew drew]$ queso
    error: unknown host
    [drew@drew drew]$ queso * NT (SP4)
    [drew@drew drew]$ queso
    error: unknown host

    Yes, this I tested every single server on the page, I left none out.
    Some of the servers won't resolve, but it seems that there is a overwhelming appearance of NT that has been cracked lately. I do these tests almost everyday for a good laugh, and this is what I usually find.
    And for all of you that ask, yes queso can distinguish between SP3 and SP4/5, I needed to add that entry into my queso.conf.
  • Slightly off-topic, I know. But: due to some bug which makes it hang after 2^32 microseconds, Win* hangs over 49 days, 17:02m. See Server Uptimes [] and see for yourself.

    Back to on-topic: I am not concerned what Microsoft will do with their products and how they will try and force everyone to use it. Microsoft _is_ evil, but I don't fear what they do.

    I fear what won't be done _against_ them. As long as the DOJ doesn't know what to do really and as long as the general public thinks it's all so cool, Microsoft will be able to rule.

    You cannot blames Microsoft for their tactics. Blame the rest of the world for accepting it too easily.

  • Xitami rocks.

    It includes all source, and does some very interesting things. It also runs very quickly on ancient hardware.

    It's kinda like the Mozilla of servers. You can get the source. A download is about 1/10th the size of the competitors. It runs quickly.
  • I never thought I'd be cheering for AOL, but the truth is, AOL/Netscape is the most powerful non-Microsoft entity out there in the client space.

    If AOL really moves to a Mozilla-powered default browser, and makes switching to IE more trouble than it's worth, then no webmaster in his right mind would risk alienating the 18MM+ AOL users out there by using an "enhanced" IIS.
  • M$ can release all the crappy closed-source gratis web servers they like, and it won't change much. Who's using this or that server isn't the real issue at all.

    The real issue is any company controlling proprietary document formats such as M$ Office. Because of network externalities, one is almost forced to have a copy of MS Office on hand to read documents sent to you by ninnies who don't understand that there is a world outside of Word.

    This is Micros~1's true leverage and monopoly power, not browsers or operating systems or web servers. It's Office. I think the only remedy that should be imposed on M$ in their anti-trust trial should be to force M$ to release (and adhere to 100%) a completely open, Free, document specification.

    Don't let MS co-opt XML, either.

    This rant brought to you by your friends at the Microsoft Corporation.

  • If their customers want something other than an MS solution, then their attitude must be adjusted. The customer is wrong, and MS must show them how they are wrong.
  • Doesn't Microsoft have any ethics?

    That was a rhetorical question, right?

  • >The author missed the real thrust of MS's efforts to get more webserver share.
    >It's not IIS, or some small webserver- it's Office 2k and the followups. No matter what Slashdot readers may
    >think of Office, it is the office suite the world runs on. The newest version of Office have very tight integration
    >with the web and IIS- for example, you can place live spreadsheets on the web using Excel. This is going to go
    >over big in office intranets- it makes sharing documents really trivial.

    As valid as your points are, I think MS has a serious weakness in pursuing this strategy: the new Office 2K costs an arm & a leg for what even ZDNet has labelled minor enhancements.

    In this battle, MS's biggest opponent is not Apache, Linux or even the *BSDs, but older versions of Office. And the PHBs might listen this time when the techs point out buying the latest software at $600 a seat is not a good idea, & that they should stay with the current revision.

  • It gets tiring when I'm constantly picking up other people's messes because I'm the only one who knows how

    This is precisely my angle - we know M$ got a free ride from WAY back by taking advantage of the new breed of computer hackers made possible by inexpensive hardware - i.e., the legions of hobbyists who are willing to fix M$ bugs and quirks for free. And that's exactly what I'm doing whenever one of their latest and greatest products pukes - 1) make it perfectly clear to the person who bought the license or stole a copy that it comes with no warrenty or guarentee that it'll even run and if it damages any important info, too bad, and that it is M$ property. 2) After convencing them that the product isn't all that it's cracked up to be, ask why they purchased it. If they reply that 'why, everybody is using it', I'll ask if it isn't dangerous for a company with such an obvious quality problem to have a default monopoly on the consumer market? What if the product 'just doesn't work on my machine' and there are no alternatives available? Then I'll try to get them to shop around a little more and maybe find something a little more 'open' that we can work with, otherwise call the M$ tech support # and MAYBE they can help you. Have fun!

    In other words, I'm personally avoiding fixing M$ messes as much as possible. I'm not wasting my life fixing some billionair company's broken property for nothing!

  • The other point I see missing from the article is that I think Microsoft is doing this purely as a numbers game just like did with Netscape. Netscape had market share, put IE in Win98 and they can start saying that IE has market share based purely on the installed Win98 user base regardless of whether people are using IE or not.

    The same will apply with this web server. Regardless if people are using it or not they will claim that every Win2k machine counts as a machine which is using their web server. One can only assume that the installed base of Win2k will grow to be larger than the installed base of Apache, they'll start telling everyone that they have the biggest market share, everyone uses their server, people will start buying into their FUD, assume there's no alternative (how could their be, didn't Microsoft create the universe anyhow) and whammo ... game set match.

    So by my estimates, Apache will be #2 in about two years time. Of course, when this happens many of you will correctly point out that those statistics are flawed ... but will that change anything?

    One of the other posts mentioned that it wouldn't be useful since you'd have to enter someone's dynamic IP to see their web page on your intranet ... try typing the netbios name in ...
  • Well, it was a well written article. Unfortunately it was written by someone who hasn't looked at Windows 2000 or talked to anyone on the IIS 5.0 team...

    There will be no webserver apart from PWS for W2K Professional. IIS 5.0 will be part of W2K Server (all three versions), and is an integrated part of the COM+ application server environment. It will also come with the O2K Server Extensions - a modified version of DAV.

    The IIS 5.0 team have looked very closely at Apache, and have been learning lessons from it. IIS 5.0 will now auto-reboot, run ASPs and COM in protected memory, and will pre-launch server threads.

    However, from what I've been able to gather, it's just seen as a technical issue. The marketing thrust is in building knowledge management solutions around IIS 5.0, structured storage, O2K and Exchange Platinum.

    It's here that Open Source developers should be concentrating. There is a need for an effective messaging system integrated with Apache, along with a search tool and catalogue with XML support.

    This is what MS is building out of O2K and W2K.

  • Why are Unix and Apache dominating the server market?

    Because they're stable and easy to remotely administer. And - let's face it - because we got here first, so people are comfortable with those tools and disinclined to switch.

    With systems like FrontPage and ASP, Microsoft has attempted to wrest the market away from Unix/Apache. However, they have had limited success. Why? Because of the stability issue, and because many ISPs don't like what they've seen Microsoft doing to other companies. They know all too well Microsoft would love nothing more than to double-cross them and swallow them up. By not using Microsoft stuff, they limit MS's power over them.

    Nothing Gates and Ballmer do in marketing terms is going to help with those issues.

    Now, those feelings of inertia and fear of Microsoft are not politically correct reasons. The only reason the customer can understand is stability. So if Microsoft can make Windows 2000 stable, while adding all these features, then it might have a good shot at taking a lot of market share from Apache/Unix. Early reports from beta testers seem to be positive, but bear in mind that most of the testers are likely to be disposed favourably towards MS. I still find it hard to believe that MS will ever be able to compete with Unix on stability, since it's not their primary focus.

    Assuming we can hold stability as a major advantage, I think we have little to fear. I've been checking out a number of database-driven sites, and the ones using IIS /always/ have problems. It's downright pathetic to watch them disintegrate under load. If we can hold that ground, IIS is unlikely to increase market share significantly.

  • Sure, Apache is already *stable* on NT. Perhaps it's not as stable as on FreeBSD or somesuch, but it really does work quite well. Take for instance this guy I know, who is for most intensive purpposes a Unix newbie. He was running a web server on 95 (I forget which, but it was one of the free non MS ones), and he eventually switched to Apache. After setting it up, he noted that Apache was much more stable than the previous two software packages he had tried...
  • Putting a slow, buggy TCP/IP as the documented version in Win2K would be tantamount to shooting themselves in the foot, because it would not only slow down Apache, but all other third party products. Even if the user community accepted this, it would undoubtedly spawn more antitrust cases against MS, which I doubt even they can afford right now..

  • all they need is one Killer Feature and Joe Public won't look anywhere else.

    I believe there was some hype spouted about HTTP-DAV being just that when MS first released it. (It was mentioned in Halloween 1) However, the nature of Apache prevents any advance like that from lasting - features in Apache can be developed and added by anyone who's interested in them, just like DAV was. If there's some server interaction feature out there that someone wants, then either they, or possibly someone they know can make it as an Apache module.
  • My guess is that PWS that comes with 98/Frontpage is Apache or NCSA

    If either, then it's most likely a descendant of NCSA, or written by someone who used it. If so, it's kinda like IE really, since that was decended from Mosaic. (Netscape's primitive predecessor)

    As for why they'd stick a web server in every box, it's more likely just so they can say "Ha! Apache's not in the lead anymore! Now 80% of the computers connected to the internet have a Microsoft Web server installed on them! That many people can't be wrong, use IIS!" All it takes is a bit of 'integration' and forcing it to be installed even if you don't want it. (Like they try to do with IE...) It's not a quest for profit there, it's a long-term attempt to attack Open Source, which Apache is just as much, or even more of a representative of than Linux. They just want to be able to say they're gaining market share against something that's prominent and Open Source, to make it look like they're better.
  • >>>MS main revenue line is not going to be web servers, it is Operating Systems, hence this the value add is the reason they offer it for free.

    I thought they made most of their money off of Office...

  • I've seen a lot of media attention (at least in the local news) about security issues. One resport described the ability of knowledgeable netheads to access files on your machine while connected to the net. Knowing all of the security problems that have plagued MS products, I'd have a hard time believing that people would knowingly put their own personal machines in this kind of jeopardy simply because MS offers a free web server.
  • You are right. I too can't figure out what advantage this strategy would bring to MS. IIS is free, runs on NT and runs quite well. If one needs to set up public www server, availability of easily usable www server software would be probably one of the last problems he/she needs to worry about.
  • I may have it all wrong here, but what's to stop them just using Apache, adding their proprietary extensions to Apache, and publishing the source code to those extensions.

    Of course, all the extensions would just be calls to the Micro$oft API, so they'd essentially be worthless, but they'd have complied with the letter of the GPL, if not the spirit. They can then crow about how 'integrated' they are with OSS, and that people can safely and happily use OSS within the Micro$oft environment if they wish.

    Until the performance deficit of Apache vs IIS is corrected, users will see Apache lag behind IIS on their machines. This is all good PR for Micro$oft.

    Just a thought.

  • I don't see how simply being easier to remote admin automatically makes Unix easier to crack. An unsecured Unix box is easy to crack, obviously, but just because Unix has more remote-admin options doesn't automatically less secure. Please list some specific examples of how this works, as I'm curious.

  • Thanks for trying to explain, but your arguments don't hold water.

    If the webserver does not have a Telnet server running, a hacker can't get to a command prompt and fish around. Telnet services can be disabled on Unix, but then there's no ability to remotely administer the system.

    I'll agree that if telnetd or some other terminal access daemon isn't running, then you can't remote admin the system. This would be the case for both NT and Unix - no remote access daemon accepting connections means no remote admin capability. But if both NT and Unix have remote access available (through telnet, ssh, whatever NT uses, etc ) then what makes Unix more crackable? It seems to me that if NT allows an admin to connect remotely, there's no reason that a cracker couldn't do the same thing (assuming they cracked the admin password). This could happen for Unix too, I'll admit, but you are arguing that Unix is less secure, not that the two are of equal security (which I would argue also, but I'm staying on-topic today). What are the specific differences between NT and Unix remote admin mechanisms that make Unix easier to crack?

    NT's security functions are more granular. It isn't a simple matter of getting root privledges and the-game-is-over as is the case with the Unix security model.

    I'm not an NT admin, so maybe I'm missing something here, but doesn't NT have an Administrator account which has essentially root privileges? If your "granular" security mechanisms prevent an Administrator from making certain changes to the system, then really your box is unmaintainable. Somebody has to have privileges over the entire system, otherwise you couldn't install new stuff, etc. But if an Administrator can make any necessary change to the system, then a cracked Administrator account is no different from a root compromise under Unix.

    As I said, I'm not an NT admin, so I'm honestly curious as to exactly why Unix is less secure. That hasn't been my experience, so if you can list specific differences between the Unix and NT security mechanisms which make Unix less secure, let's hear them. So far, it sounds like NT and Unix have functionally similar remote admin security systems, barring buffer overflow exploits and so forth.

  • The solution is easy. I'm sure people have thought of it before, but obviously no one with the balls.

    I've worked for microsoft before. They give their employees the impression that they will treat them like God's, and that you may just be the *next one* to climb up the corporate ladder.

    The corporate world is a world of suits and (funnily enough) dodgy software. Suits talk to sales people, sales people get excited and talk to clients, clients... buy microsoft. Because people tell them that it is an essential part of the computer.

    So how do we break the cycle? Easy.

    Make an operating system that is as easy to use as windows. Who cares if it is buggy? Just make it, make it similarly fast/stable, call it something flash and give it away for free. YES it will crash, YES people will complain.. but at least it doesn't line Bill Gates's pocket.

    "Linux can do this" i hear you cry. Crap. The driving force behind linux is us, a bunch of hackers who spit on redhat because they dare take a breath of the mainstream. If i had the money i'd start up a distro called "E-z-as-windows" and market it all across the world. Not to line my pockets but to give people a READILY AVAILABLE ALTERNATIVE.

    If you 31337 hax0rz really wanted linux to do well, you would concentrate on making a distrib that was as easy to use as windows, and had the universal appeal that it does. (Games, Office, Easy to change background colours etc).

    People *ALWAYS* want something new.. they want to see it, play with it and touch it. The Linux community, although definitely applauded, are not opening up to the world.

    Do this, and Microsoft will be defeated. Simple.

  • I gotta say that this looks like very shrewd work on the part of Microsoft.

    1. I believe that a primary reason that people leave Windows to go to Linux/*BSD etc is reliability. By accounts of other posters, it seems that their new Win 2000 is far more reliable. As such, it will stem a lot of the flow away from their products.

    2. It seems like they have aimed their guns at web servers, seeming to recognise that this is where they have been losing to Linux and other free OS. The Mindcraft benchmarks were good scores for them in the publicity battles, and they did well to pick a battle they could win, even if the results are somewhat irrelevant.

    3. Some posters suggest that Microsoft could use Apache for their free web server. From a technical and immediate sales point of view, this might be a good way for them to go. But from the mindshare perspective, this would be admitting defeat. I don't believe they will do this.

    4. Some are saying - why cannot we coexist. I think that it would be great if there were a proliferation of operating systems out there. I would have no problems if Microsoft were a large player in the market. But they seem to be not content with this, desiring not a large share, but total share. I think that this is why so many people hate Microsoft, not because they want to have high sales, nor because their products are buggy, but because they poison the others' wells, and seek to destroy.

    The fourth reason is why it is important for the DOJ's and others' lawsuites to prevail.

    The first point, if valid, shows the importance of competition. If Microsoft produces good products, that is good for all of us.
  • Apache for NT IS stable. It may not be as stable as Apache for Linux or Solaris, but how would you know if it was, on NT? As it is, it's at least as stable as IIS on NT.
  • We need not fear the standard Microsoft offensive, because it was never designed to work against OSS. Let's say for a moment that Microsoft manages, through a full force FUD movement, and their usual tactics are able to take say 70 or 80 percent of the webserver market. By similar tactics let us assume that they also take 70 or 80 percent of the browser market. The likelyhood of this is small, but let's assume they manage to do it anyhow.

    Now, what does this mean for open source software? Apache, or Linux, or Mozilla isn't going to close up shop for their is no shop to close. Since these products are open source, people can continue to build and extend forever and there's no way that Microsoft can really "win".

    Other competitors that Microsoft has faced have had to deal with keeping stock holders happy, remaining profitable, etc. Eventually, they would be forced to cut their losses and run. That's a total non-issue with OSS stuff.

    Microsoft may continue to win in the short term, but eventually one of two things will happen:

    1) The government will come in and break them up (if they control the majority of OS's, Webservers, and Web browsers, there's no more room to argue that they aren't a monopoly).

    2) Microsoft will get tired, make a mistake, and lose the race. OSS has the advantage because as it becomes better, more people use it, as more people use it, it becomes better and so on and so on...


  • After a rather lengthy discussion about this on Linuxtoday (the original article had some serious flaws, such as assuming IIS costs money), the author revised it. I still don't think it cuts it. For one thing, people don't need web servers on their desktop machines. A couple of people would set them up, but they'd still be pretty useless to them. Until Microsoft starts giving away domain names, dynamic IP addresses are going to make this too confusing for the common user. I don't know of many people that run Linux as their desktop OS because of Apache (sure it's cool, but it's a minor concern). Thus adding this to Windoows 9* isn't going to deter anyone from going to Linux.

    So here we have a hypothetical web server from Microsoft, easier to use than IIS but more featue-filled than PWS. It is "free", just like those two, but it is worse than IIS. This will be the same web server used on Windows2000? I can't tell about this part from the essay. Frankly, I don't see the motivation for using this. If you're going to set up a stupid website, PWS should suffice. If you're going to set up a real website that you actually need to have up, you're going to use Apache or IIS. And there's no way you'd run it under Win9*. If people are that gullible, PWS will suffice for them too.

    So the way I see it Microsoft could improved PWS or make IIS work on Win9* (does it?) and this would have the desired effect. But why bother? They're losing to Linux in the server market, not the desktop. They don't have to beef up Win9* at all. People will take it as it is. I seriously doubt they're actually concerned about the desktop market yet. They need to beef up WinNT, which they seem to be doing with Office2000. That's where the real new dependence seems to be coming from.

    Also, the entire quote from Ballmer talked about how Apache was better at multiple hosting on a single machine, not in general.
  • And that would be why I put "free" in quotes. It doesn't come close to being free like Apache, but it's close enough for the purposes of this article. The author was assuming that Microsoft would give away the server. He made no mention of giving away the OS (which they probably will never do). Thus, for the purposes of this article, IIS and PWS are "free" to anyone who would use them anyway.
  • Have you ever seen anything that suggests they do?

    I doubt it.

  • I don't know of any deaths so far (maybe industrial accidents caused by NT-run machinery controllers), but you can expect at least a few big catastrophes come Y2K (especially when you consider that it's pretty unlikely that they have fixed all Y2K problems in Win98/NT SP5/Win2K/whatever.
  • Although there probably will be Y2K-related problems in Free Software, I'm betting that it won't be in the more popular products (Linux, Emacs, GCC, Zope, etc.), because of Eric's Theorem (if it isn't ESR's, please let me know whose it is): Given enough eyes, all bugs are shallow.
  • One thing that comes to mind is 'Ease of Configuration'. Like many tools under Linux, configuring them is not always easy when compared to tools found under Windows, or a number of other GUI based OSs. Since Apache is working on more than just Linux, maybe a Java interface, that also uses native code, could be created.

    While many of us who visit Slashdot could, or are capable to, manage a web site without any problem, a number of companies employ people you really don't want to be in those positions. For these people Windows is great, because there is a user interface and a service contract. Although you can get a service contract for Linux, you can't get a user interface for everything that you need to administer under Linux.

  • by Gumber ( 17306 )
    I am sorry, I could find little or no insight in the freshmeat article.

    1. Microsoft admitting apache is better. -- I read this a different way. When a new software version is imminent Microsoft is not shy about ripping on the old one. You should have read the reviewers guides when Win95 came out, or talked to the SQL server guys at comdex last fall when MS-SQL 7.0 came out. They were absolutley merciless in their assement of the previous version.

    With this context, I see this comment as more of a way of talking up windows 2000, the implication that its webserver will be as good or better than Apache. They may elevate the status of apache, but they say that they will have something as good or better than it.

    2. Windows2000 will have a simple lightweight webserver -- Personal web server fits pretty much all of these criteria already, but I hardly think that anyone thinks that apache competes in this space anyway.

    3. The new webserver will be available for addition to earlier microsoft operating systems. -- I guess we will see. I think that if microsoft thinks it is something special they will use it to sell the upgrade, rather than give it away. It is possible, I suppose, but I don't see anything that compelling.

    4. Personal web server doesn't cut it and is hidden away a la IE2.0 -- does not compute. First. Personal web server isn't hidden away now. If it were much more out front it would be too intrusive. IE2.0 was on the desktop anyway. Beyond this, Personal web server is simple to use and relatively competant as is, I don't see how any current or future version would be targeted at apache.

    5. The new MS web server may be crippled, but it will be used as an incentive to get a full version by upgrading to windows. Again, I don't see why this is relevant when we are talking about apache, not that it matters, because it already describes the status quo. Personal webserver is in some ways a first step to IIS and NT server.

    This might make sense if the people who use apache as their first web server were the same sorts of people who would use Personal web server as their first web server, but I don't beleive they are.

    6. Adding windows only features that integrate between this new web server and IE. Guess what, it has been happening since microsoft released their first web clients and servers. Never the less, I will speculate as to what would be a killer app for this. Full remote access to your machine through IE a la MS terminal server.

    7. The new free web server / Windows 2000 combination will reduce the appeal of Apache. --- Huh, I don't see how, especially since this new free web server, by the articles description, is targeted at the low end.

    Hey, I have another idea for a killer app. What if the new webserver integrated free microsoft provided web space so that you could work with things as if they were on your machine, but they were served to the world off of a big server farm with unlimited bandwidth. This would be hard for apache to compete with.

    8. Attacking Apache with this kind of tactic is not legally painful as integrating the browser was. After all, Apache isn't made by a company. To the legal system and Microsoft, Apache came out of the ether and its secretary is a website. -- I dunno what this tactic could possibly be since I find this anatomy lesson to be remarkably short of meat.

    9. how, exactly, is apache better than any microsoft web server in the sort of personal web server space you seem to be talking about. You haven't made your case.

    10. The mindcraft benchmarks. What thinking person didn't realize that apache isn't everything that it has been built up to be? I think rational people were already choosing apache for different reasons.

    Reading back over my argument, it doesn't seem to elgant, but then I was sparring with fantoms of the air anyway.
  • Since they are admitting that the price/performance/features equation of Apache is better than anything Microsoft has to offer, it means they have gotten used to the idea, mulled it over, and came up with a solution
    That or they're tring to convince the DoJ that there are bits of the world they don't own.

    The new free web server / Windows 2000 combination will reduce the appeal of Apache
    This won't be as easy as deep-sixing Netscape, for a whole bunch of reasons. Off the top of my head...
    1. Targetting home users who'll just click'n'install is a lot easier than replacing entrenched, stable technology in the business world. All the PHBs in all the gin-joints in all the world won't be effective in replacing all the apache installations, but they might impinge (slightly) on new installs.
    2. Apache is, and always has been, free. netscape lost out to a certain extent because it took them a year and a day to react to the freebie IE.
    3. Netscape had/has advocates; Apache has fanatics.
  • IIS already does this. Its free it runs on your desktop (9*,NTW). What can change?

    I know that IIS already has this kind of extensions. The difference is that it does not currently come pre-installed with the Win9x machines (i.e. the ones that almost everybody uses). Internet Explorer was also available as a free download for Win95, but it did not take off until it came pre-installed on every user's desktop.

    You will not even have to look for a web server and install it: it will already be there. So why bother with other servers (like Apache) if you already have one and the others do not offer significantly more features?

    There can be another consequence to this: if every PC comes with a web server pre-installed, Microsoft and other companies can start developing services that rely on these servers and on some MS-specific features included in these servers. This would be attractive for companies that have many computers on an intranet: these web servers could be part of a distributed document management infrastructure, they could be tightly coupled with Office 2000 or with Exchange.

    Just an example: you want to send a document (created with Word 2000) to your colleagues. Instead of sending it as an attachment to your mail message, Outlook 2000 could automatically send your announcement (only a short text) to all recipients and include a link to the document that is then published by your local web server. It could even take care of some security issues, such as making sure that only the recipients of the message can access the file. This would be a nice feature because it would reduce the load on the Exchange server (which is not so good under high loads) and at the same time it would lock all people into this proprietary solution.

  • They are applying their usual strategy to web servers: embrace and extend.

    As a Win2000 user, you will get a free web server on your desktop. It will be very easy for you to publish some pages on the web, thanks to this nice tool. Maybe you will even get a few pre-installed scripts and utilities with it, such as a hit counter. Maybe also some FrontPage extensions so that it is easier for you to publish and manage your documents.

    By coincidence, you will find the same set of utilities plus much more in IIS. So once you reach the limits of the free server, the only sensible way to upgrade your server will be to move to IIS. It will be easy, and you will not have to re-write any of your code.

    On the other hand, upgrading to Apache will be much more difficult, because nobody told you that the nice features offered by the free server were MS-specific and were not available with Apache. So why would you take Apache if it would force you to modify several of your pages? Re-writing these pages could cost more than the price of Windows NT Server + IIS, so you will forget about this "free" Apache that requires more work from you.

    And while you are at it, you will also use the nice goodies provided with the server, such as the ones that put active channels on the user's desktop. Never mind of some users cannot use these features because they have a non-standard browser (i.e. a browser that does not come pre-installed with the OS). They will be forced to upgrade sooner or later anyway, so why bother?


  • That's 10 simultaneos connections. Not great, but not bad for a small web server. However, I'm also that special provision will be made in the EULA for unlimited Internet/intranet connections. MS SQL Server, for instance, has a special Internet licence allowing such unlimited connections.

  • How about this, Microsoft produce a Web Server that interacts with every other web server on the lan (read personal web server or whatever) and this allows everyone to create a list of information on every PC, so effectively there's this one big ever changing intranet, with document management and data sharing using XML etc etc, the thing to be worried about is not whether they are going to be doing the same as APACHE but what is it that they are going to be doing different, all they need is one Killer Feature and Joe Public won't look anywhere else.
  • One of the wonderful things about NT is how they have to be different than everybody else. The optimal solution for sockets programming under NT isn't the standard berkeley sockets stuff but IOCP. No idea if Apache is implemented this way now, but if not it would mean quite a bit of work to do the coding... for a substantial performance boost.
  • you're right, that's the upgrade price for the professional version.
  • The cost/benefit of changing older clients to the new version is not worth it in an origanisation of 500+ For a while, we requested that new machines be shipped with office 95. Now they are shipped with 97, and it's causing a nightmare. It's a nightmare caused by a lack of compatibility.

    But it is still too expensive to upgrade a license. Businesses are out to make money, not toss it out the window every chance they get. That's also why arguments about linux being physically free not affecting decisions are patently inane. Of course cost matters! The minimum wage is climbing, other costs are rising, and if a free alternative that is more reliable comes along, of course they'll bite!
  • I would like to stay with an older version of office, but I never have any real choice. MS releases a new version, new employees and new desktop systems have the new version of office. Older versions can't read documents created by the new versions, people complain:

    POOF - IT upgrades everyone for a special upgrade price.
  • I wonder what extensions IIS will contain to support the Office2000 Web functions. Will they be documented? Could a module be developed for Apache for this support? Some sneaky things they could do might include:

    Integrating access to Windows logins

    Tying functions to MS Exchange

    Proprietary formats for transfering office information via HTTP

  • Every one of the things that Conrad says Microsoft will do has already been done in NT4, for all the good it has done them. They cannot do very much more in this regard unless they integrate IIS with Windows 99 or 99++ or whatever they call their next Desktop OS. And we can only hope they do that, since it will push them even closer to the point at which the bubble gum and baling wire give way and their whole messy OS collapses in chaos.

    The OS integration strategy was a brilliant response to the threat posed by Netscape. We should not expect them to try the same strategy against Linux. They are more likely to try things that exploit the weaknesses of the Linux community and the strengths of Microsoft, such as setting up bogus benchmarks that compare specially modified versions of an OS running a single task. That is a contest they can be expected to win every time, since they can throw as many full time, well paid engineers at it as needed, while the Linux folks must rely on volunteers - and who wants to put in hours working on a project that only makes sense to a marketdroid or a CIO? The recent PC Week tests showed nothing at all about how NT stacks up against Linux in the real world (try running IIS and Exchange on the same NT box), and have no practical value at all. They were, from an engineering perspective, a complete waste of time.

    Rather than meeting this challenge on the battleground chosen by Microsoft, the Linux community would do far better to expose these "benchmarks" for the travesty they are. Then continue on the path that is leading to true greatness, making Linux better in ways that really matter.
  • I think he was just trying to say that Microsoft will respond to the threat of Apache, which they freely admit as being better, by integrating a small webserver of their own into win2000. They would hope to gain back some market share, and give people less reason to use Apache.
  • 1. If the webserver does not have a Telnet server running, a hacker can't get to a command prompt and fish around. Telnet services can be disabled on Unix, but then there's no ability to remotely administer the system.

    FUD. Serious admins disable telnet and log in via SSH, using RSA authentication.

    2. NT's security functions are more granular. It isn't a simple matter of getting root privledges and the-game-is-over as is the case with the Unix security model.

    Do you have specifics to back this up? Otherwise it's just more FUD.

  • Yes, Dean Gaudet of the Apache Group has gotten fed up with the negative benchmarks and has committed a bunch of code for Apache 2.0. I'm just quoting him from memory, benchmarks are one of his goals. He's one of the group's OS experts.
  • >>>MS main revenue line is not going to be web servers, it is Operating Systems, hence this the value add is the reason they offer it for free

    MS missed the whole web browser boat and has spent quite a bit of time/money/resources playing catch-up. They understand the power of the Internet and I would guess they want to control as much of it as they can.

    True they aren't looking for immediate revenue from the web-server market today... It's control that they are concerned about, control of market share will lead to revenue in the future.

  • oversize in file size, resource hogs and just plain slow

    I know that Conrad did not explicitely mention gnome, but he was promoting KOffice as a recomendation near the end (for helping linux proliferate before w2k). I thought the forsight and clarity with which this article was written was excellent up to the very last paragraph. Ummm, office suites that go with desktop shells rot.

    I am afraid that while MS may try to imitate linux in instances where Linux is better, it seems to me that linux imitates windows in situations that windows is better. I mean, of course, the desktop. People should be cautious: while Linux makes progress, but continues to fail, in desktop areas, it may come to pass that MS wins on both fronts.

    Conrad is right. Open source is secondary to most. Linux is a better server out of the box than win98, but maybe not better than w2k. It goes without saying that w2k will exceed linux in the desktop. Just hope they don't include ghostscript, TeX, Perl, gnutar, and free C compilers with their Apache bundled W2k. Linux will lose all but the most diehard users then. The people that use Linux only because it is better will switch as soon as it's not better.

  • Here is a free windows web server.

    free windows webserver []

    I've got a copy waiting for the day I get
    DSL/cable modem.
  • As for #1, last time I checked you can set an option somewhere (I am not at a windows computer now, so I can't say for sure. I believe you right click on the taskbar, click properties and then go into start menu options.) that allows you to have right click start menu from anywhere on the desktop. i.e. the same functionality present in windowmaker.
  • It's only a matter of time.

    If Linux/apache grows in popularity, Microsoft will simply find a way to weasel into the market. Why not make a proprietary API that runs on top of Linux -- then, port a bunch (but not all) of MS applications to it?

    Microsoft is sneaky, sneaky, sneaky. But you know what? I couldn't give a rat's ass how Microsoft responds to Linux, Apache, or any other open source project. Microsoft thrives because People Are Dumb, and the open source projects will continue to plod along on their own, getting better and better every month, regardless of market success. If the rest of the world wants to live as Microserfs for the rest of their little lives (and constantly bitch about it), that is not my problem (or the problem of anyone in the open source movement).

    Microsoft will never produce Internet serving software that's as good as Apache anyway, because of inherant flaws in their platform.

  • All the high profile sites have to run UNIX because IIS can't keep up. Add the fact that high profile means lots of people working there means lots of opportunity for human involvement to create security leaks. Like others have said here, there is no completely secure box. Especially if you run remote admin stuff and set up simple trust relationships. I don't see those practices as being beneficial enough to outweigh turning the services off.

    Also, an NT box can be made to be very secure. Of course, then you have to turn off functionality there as well. However, holes in NT like you'll find here [] can't help but make it easier than UNIX to crack.
  • I mean really! How many IIS boxes have been cracked in the last 2 years? Now the network people are supposed to be happy to allow everyone in their respective company to run a weakly secure web server? Ha! And people thought Melissa, et. al. were bad.

    On another note, this will really increase the numbers of support jobs out there. This past weekend there were 4 NT/IIS servers cracked (run by various departments within USDA and not the main site). Yesterday, they bring in their "experts" to fix them up and have _8_ people surrounding _2_ servers. I'm not sure what 6 of them were supposedly doing. Meanwhile, me and the only other UNIX guy here are happily playing with our 10 UNIX boxes. They claim NT doesn't take lots of people to maintain it. Sure.
  • Haven't you seen the security bugs for ICQ's web service? Heheh telnet to it and send a 256 long character string, and oh, watch your PC barf. Add being able to see and get any file you know the name of .... :)
  • If Microsoft really want to push the web server envelope in the way the author claims they need to truly integrate it into the OS.

    They've already gone the first step in that the desktop is essentially a web page with "file window" and "browser window" meaning the same thing. What they need to do now is have the file system served by their web server. that'd really complete the circle. Although I can't exactly say it'd win any medals for security...
  • by KoF ( 33336 )
    Does this mean that Microsoft will be useing Apache?
  • When every desktop user has a MS webserver running (unknown to many of them of course) and a security flaw is found that lets you read/alter files on the harddrive.....previous exploits of MS web servers etc. has been limited to mostly NT boxes running webservers (hopefully with an admin that has at least some education)......and suddenly every MS user who doesn't care about, or know how to, turn the server off is a server admin faced with a security risk (and the need of patching it).....oh I really see the benefit for the customer here....not
  • IIS uses ISAPI DLL's as a higher performance option than CGI's. The DLL handles webrequests and is only loaded once, thereby saving a lot of overhead since you don't need to start a new process.

    I've used them. Damn annoying to debug since you basically need to shutdown the webserver and restart it before you can try a new version of the DLL. Also, bad ISAPI DLL's can easily bring down your webserver.
    "I got it running, grabbed a rocket launcher, and fired down a hallway." --John Carmack
  • Exactly: give everyone a web server that's "good enough" and get a bazillion of 'em in use to make their share look better. No one would use the thing for more than cub scout merit badges or baby pictures, but Netcraft et al would report a big increase in market share. It'd be even better if they could call the thing IIS and smear the line between this little bastard app and their real IIS offering.

    Of course, this only gets them halfway there. They'll still get cracking on improving the parts of real IIS that people complain about, and they'll start with doing a better job of hosting multiple domains on a single server as balmer talked about.

    It's exactly how M$ does everything, it's how they work: serve up gruel to the mindless masses that gets 90% of what they need done, and then hit the top two or three needs of everyone else pretty well, and lie to cover every other case that arises. Over time they'll continue to add shiny things to distract the idiots, continue to add to the few things they do well to mollify real users, and continue to lie to everyone else (such as anyone hoping for 24x7 or enterprise scale performance.) business as usual.

    Cris E
    St Paul, MN

  • IIS is not free, because you have to buy NT to get it. This doesn't make it free in any sense of the word. Maybe it's "free" for you because you work in a place that has already purchased it for you, and thus you don't take the cost into consideration? Who knows.

    Apache is free because you can download everything you need to run it without paying anything for it.

    You need to reevaluate your definition of "free."
  • by edremy ( 36408 ) on Wednesday June 30, 1999 @04:55AM (#1825214) Journal

    The author missed the real thrust of MS's efforts to get more webserver share.

    It's not IIS, or some small webserver- it's Office 2k and the followups. No matter what Slashdot readers may think of Office, it is the office suite the world runs on. The newest version of Office have very tight integration with the web and IIS- for example, you can place live spreadsheets on the web using Excel. This is going to go over big in office intranets- it makes sharing documents really trivial.

    Guess what- these functions don't run under Apache. Thus, IS staff have to maintain an IIS webserver to get the features that the various Office2k users want. (And I'll assure you they'll want them.)

    Best of all, this is a no risk strategy wrt the Justice Department. All they're doing is improving their office suite, which Justice can't stop. Sure they're trying to kill Apache, but Apache isn't a company, and they aren't undercutting Apache's price to drive it out of the market since Apache is already free.

    I've got to admire MS on this one. This is one seriously well designed strategy. They can't make headway against basic web stuff, so they'll leverage their real monopoly (Forget Windows- it's Office.) to make the basic web seem much less useful. It might even work.


  • Actually, they'll have MORE of a reason, as all these people will be able to do (know how to do?) what we do with our web servers/ssh servers etc.

    Having everyone doing this will be a really good reason for them to block it.

    I'm worried b/c my ISP filters Netbios already through the cablemodem. What happens if they deem it necessary to filter http/ssh/etc to protect their idiot windoze users?
  • We should concentrate on fighting Microsoft on issues they cannot win.

    Okay, so assuming W2k includes a web server, we can counter that most Linux distributions also come with a web server (apache). For someone looking to choose a platform, or for others to migrate from Windows to Linux, we need to have other compelling reasons which Microsoft can't beat us at: Stability and Reliability spring to mind. Windows crashing is something that almost all computer users have experienced, and is also one of the most difficult things for Microsoft to overcome. This is where the Linux community should take the battle. Software such as XFS should improve Linux's image here, but there's still a lot we need to learn from IBM, Sun, SGI etc.
  • surely, having a prominent web server in win2k will push their percentage up as legions of Win kids with cable modems put their bandwidth to use, however ill a use it may be.

  • no , thats not what the article means - but they were apparently forced to use it because NT was too sucky. They may know it Apache is superior, but indeed, it is strange Ballmer would actually declare that, MS being so marketing minded.

  • I keep hearing that Win95's explorer is somehow related to NeXT's UI. I just don't see it.

    As a regular user of NEXTSTEP 3.3 and WinNT 4.0, I find them considerably different. The NeXT's clean simplicity is far ahead of the cluttered look of the windows gui. The start menu is stupidly designed, and the NeXT, while unable to present as many applications to the user (the dock is clever, but inherently limited), does what it does in a much better (and different) fashion than the taskbar/start menu.

    If i'm missing something, please tell me!

  • This was not mentioned in the article. The Apache Group could fend off such an attack if they get a stable port done before MS manages to pull any of these tricks off. And what with the delays in W2K, they could probably do it.

    MS must have thought of this, though, and they are probably thinking of ways to hinder Apache for NT. My guess is that W2K will have undocumented system code for TCP/IP, which they'll use to make their own servers faster and more stable, while the documented code will be slow and buggy.

  • Apache for NT IS stable. It may not be as stable as Apache for Linux or Solaris, but how would you know if it was, on NT?

    %^) Point taken. Nevertheless, the Apache Group has stated quite candidly [] that the NT port is not as good as they'd like it to be, and they plan to improve it.

    If Apache can get an NT port completed in a reasonable amount of time (say, before W2K is released), it'll be very hard for MS to push IIS so much that they can start dictating protocols, even if IIS is faster. One of the reasons for this, I think, is the existence of so many extension modules for Apache. Is there any such thing as mod_perl, FastCGI, PHP for IIS? (I really don't know.) A heavily loaded site can hardly get by without tools like these.
  • IIS 4.0 is a component of NT 4.0 Option Pack, which is ALREADY FREE.

    All Balmer is saying is that the current version of IIS has deficiencies, and the new version will address them.

    This is not a conspiracy. MS main revenue line is not going to be web servers, it is Operating Systems, hence this the value add is the reason they offer it for free.

    Being the best of the breed is their job, of course they are going to attempt to rectify deficiencies in their product.

    Repeat after me :- no conspiracy. I am personalising the corporate actions of Microsoft to be entirely driven to destroy Linux. MS motivation is money :- revenue and strategic positioning. This usually comes from a conjunction of factors, one of which is producing the most functional product.
  • So what's being done? Is Linus working on speeding up the kernel's IP support (allowing multiple threads)? Is anyone working on speeding up Apache?

    The good folks at our favorite Linux dists would be wise to start up some performance improvement projects to speed up time-critical apps like Apache, protocol implementations, file servers, graphics drivers and the like.

    And speaking of Office, do any Linux apps support a respectable subset of Office file formats? If documents could be readily shared (especially .xls, .doc, .ppt, and .msg) across Linux and Win, then technical people in office situations (and there are a lot of us) would be much more readily able to use Linux in the office, and thereby spread the gospel of Linux.

    Just some thoughts,

"Who cares if it doesn't do anything? It was made with our new Triple-Iso-Bifurcated-Krypton-Gate-MOS process ..."