Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 21st Feb 2008 21:51 UTC, submitted by Xaero_Vincent
Microsoft Microsoft rolled out its big guns, including CEO Steve Ballmer and Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie, to underscore its commitment to the set of new interoperability principles announced Feb. 21 that are designed to increase the openness of its high-volume products and drive greater interoperability. In fact, Microsoft's long-term success depends on its ability to deliver a software and services platform that is open and flexible and provides customers and developers with choice, Ballmer said during a media teleconference. The EU is skeptical on Microsoft's pledges, according to Ars.
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Interoperability
by Buck on Thu 21st Feb 2008 22:22 UTC
Buck
Member since:
2005-06-29

It's only interoperability for them if everyone operates on MS standards.

Reply Score: 10

RE: Interoperability
by lemur2 on Fri 22nd Feb 2008 03:38 UTC in reply to "Interoperability"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

It's only interoperability for them if everyone operates on MS standards.


Exactly so.

Where is the fully integrated support for ODF in MS Office (not converters, but rather the ability to set ODF as the default save format)?

Where is MS Office for Linux?

Where is support for SVG and OGG (and other open codecs) formats in IE and WMP respectively?

Until we see such so that Microsoft's Windows customers are given a choice to use open unencumbered formats we will not see the end of lock-in to Microsoft.

BTW, for whoever claimed otherwise ... GPLv2 also requires that you offer the code to all recipients free to use as they want. The business plan involving end users to "pay for use of patents" is not compatible with either GPLv2 or GPLv3.

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: Interoperability
by elsewhere on Fri 22nd Feb 2008 05:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Interoperability"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Where is the fully integrated support for ODF in MS Office (not converters, but rather the ability to set ODF as the default save format)?


Why should they? Where's the business incentive?

Where is MS Office for Linux?


Why should they? Where's the business incentive?

Where is support for SVG and OGG (and other open codecs) formats in IE and WMP respectively?


Why should they? Where's the business incentive?

Until we see such so that Microsoft's Windows customers are given a choice to use open unencumbered formats we will not see the end of lock-in to Microsoft.


No, the issue isn't about forcing MS to use open standards, that's their choice, and if their customers don't care, then why should they? The issue is about MS opening the standards and protocols that are dominant in Windows and their own software stack, which generally represent a much larger entrenched userbase than any of the open standards or platforms you seem to feel MS should be forced to support.

It's about ensuring that MS can't use closed protocols to lock out interoperability. Let's be rational about it, because claims that MS should arbitrarily support xxx or yyy play right into their strategy and allow them to argue that their method is superior. It's better for everyone if they're encouraged to open their standards and protocols, forcing them to adopt arbitrary standards and protocols is no better than MS attempting to force their own versions.

BTW, for whoever claimed otherwise ... GPLv2 also requires that you offer the code to all recipients free to use as they want. The business plan involving end users to "pay for use of patents" is not compatible with either GPLv2 or GPLv3.


Assuming that the code is being used for commercial purposes. How many people "sell" GPL code? Almost nobody. The revenue comes from service and support. Novell and RH, among others, all offer their code for free, which equates to non-commercial use. Microsoft's "clause" won't apply, the only people that need to worry are those utilizing the "IP" in closed or proprietary products sold commercially.

I don't trust MS any more than the next person, but at least let's keep the criticisms rational and based in fact, rather than hyperbole.

Reply Score: 15

RE[3]: Interoperability
by Lobotomik on Fri 22nd Feb 2008 09:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Interoperability"
Lobotomik Member since:
2006-01-03

Even if GPL code is seldom sold, *any* piece of GPL code *may* be sold. That's in the GPL rules. Whether you find someone willing to pay for that code or not, or whether what RedHat sells is the code or the service is beside the point.

You cannot add distribution restrictions to GPL code; that would be a violation of the license. So you cannot add, say, the ActiveSync protocol to Samba based on the recently published information and then make samba freely redistributable only in a non-commercial way, but commercially only post patent licensing.

So I'd say that this patent business is totally incompatible with GPL code, which means with most of the free software in the market - not just Linux, but Gnome, KDE, OpenOffice, Samba, Java, the works. Whether that is exactly what Microsoft intended or not, I cannot say, but until that is clarified and fixed, all that information might be not much use at all.

Whether that is a virtue of a defect of the GPL license is also beside the point. Most of the free software that is circulating is bound to those terms, and they cannot be changed. If Microsoft really means to be interoperable with all this code, they really have to think of something else.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Interoperability
by lemur2 on Fri 22nd Feb 2008 14:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Interoperability"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Why should they? Where's the business incentive?


FTA:
Microsoft's long-term success depends on its ability to deliver a software and services platform that is open and flexible and provides customers and developers with choice, Ballmer said during a media teleconference


Ballmer says that the business incentive is that Microsoft's very future depends on Microsoft being open and giving its customers a choice.

So why pray tell do Microsoft then refuse to give their customers a choice to use Microsoft products (specifically Windows and Office) with open, industry-consensus, agreed, approved, royalty-free and unencumbered formats?

This announcement from Microsoft is all about: "here, FOSS developers, is how all our proprietary formats & APIs work. Please develop (for no recompense) applications to run only on Windows and use all this stuff ... we promise we won't sue you ... so that we can then charge a fee to everyone who subsequently uses the products you developed".

The original comment was:
It's only interoperability for them if everyone operates on MS standards.


Exactly so.

Edited 2008-02-22 14:17 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Interoperability
by tomcat on Fri 22nd Feb 2008 06:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Interoperability"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Exactly so. Where is the fully integrated support for ODF in MS Office (not converters, but rather the ability to set ODF as the default save format)?


Actually, I'd much rather have MS provide a general mechanism for plugging in an arbitrary persistence component, rather than add specific support for ODF. That would enable customers to write to ANY format they choose. Now THAT is real interop. Not just a Band-Aid-of-the-moment for ODF.

Where is MS Office for Linux?


You have a strange concept of interop. Interop doesn't mean moving all of your code to another platform. It means making sure your CURRENT code works well with other platforms.

Where is support for SVG and OGG (and other open codecs) formats in IE and WMP respectively?


MS has already provided all of the hosting support for adding SVG support to IE. All that you have to do is write an ActiveX component. As for OGG, the Windows Media SDK contains plenty of examples for writing an audio and/or video codec. All of the pieces for interop are already there.

Until we see such so that Microsoft's Windows customers are given a choice to use open unencumbered formats we will not see the end of lock-in to Microsoft.


WTF. You're free to use whatever formats you like. Nobody is stopping you. MS supports PDF. From there, you can target any format you like. So, stop pretending that you lack "freedom".

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Interoperability
by Moulinneuf on Fri 22nd Feb 2008 21:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Interoperability"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

Plug-ins are a big "NO WAY" in many corporate environment. For some home consumer the mere mention of plug-ins and they say : let me get my guns so that I can shoot you.

Let's not forget that for some thing the company who make the plug-ins is not interested to support the software or OS (1). The opposite is true of the reverse of software maker who don't support a lot of it's plug-ins(2).

(1) Adobe Flash , Java , etc ...

(2) Adobe Photoshop plug-ins , Fonts for OS ,

http://www.plugin.com/tools/

"That would enable customers to write to ANY format they choose. "


Seem to me that your saying that making converter without access to format source and how it work is easy ...

"Now THAT is real interop."


No , that's just showing that you don't know what real interoperability is.

"Not just a Band-Aid-of-the-moment"


Your reversing reality , your plug-in are the band-aid.

"for ODF"


It's used as an example it's not the only text format that is known that is not included.

"You have a strange concept of interop."


As oppose to you who don't know what it is. Offering Your software on someone else platform , actually permit interoperability , why do you think everyone else does it.

"All of the pieces for interop are already there."


So , you actually know what your talking about , your just lying , making excuses and are appaulogistic and reversing reality ...

"You're free to use whatever formats you like."


As long as Microsoft approve of it ...

"MS supports PDF"


The PDF developper are saying something else ...

"From there, you can target any format you like."


More third party option ( excuses ) instead of direct saving to the format you want ...

"stop pretending that you lack "freedom"."


That's already a given Microsoft is in countempt of court on that Even in the US ... Monopoly , Anti-trust , Criminal , Civil , Spying. They do *settle* a lot of illegal thing.

What as always been lacking too is "interoperability."

Edited 2008-02-22 21:47 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Interoperability
by tomcat on Sat 23rd Feb 2008 06:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Interoperability"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Plug-ins are a big "NO WAY" in many corporate environment.


Sorry, but you're high, if you believe that. Ever hear of ... Java? MS Office PDF Save? Flash? Silverlight? Google Desktop/toolbar? Firefox (it's nothing but plug-ins)?

For some home consumer the mere mention of plug-ins and they say : let me get my guns so that I can shoot you.


You're so wrong. Consumers have no idea what a plug-in is. It's just additional software that they download and install.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Interoperability
by google_ninja on Fri 22nd Feb 2008 05:59 UTC in reply to "Interoperability"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Really? I call bullshit, they are very active members of the Web Standards Project, the Open AJAX Alliance, and the OpenID group, and have implemented all three standards into their products, even when they dont have to. And that is just off the top of my head, im sure if i did the slightest amount of research I could find more.

How can you blindly hate a company so much that when the #1 complaint about them is being fixed (leveraging their windows marketshare to gain an unfair advantage by tightly integrating the rest of their stack into it through undocumented protocols), you still have nothing good to say? This is not only a very positive move, but it is on the end of a pretty long line of similarily positive moves they have been making as an organization for the last few years.

Edited 2008-02-22 06:01 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Interoperability
by rhyder on Fri 22nd Feb 2008 06:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Interoperability"
rhyder Member since:
2005-09-28

Because we've all heard it all before, time and time again.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Interoperability
by hobgoblin on Fri 22nd Feb 2008 11:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Interoperability"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

hmm, i just wonder how long it will take them to do a "extend" on those implementations...

maybe ones people are not looking and they have regained some online leverage/marketshare?

hell, active directory are based on open standards, but they are also extended to hell and back so dont expect something that is standard compliant to work flawlessly with active directory.

thats the kind of microsoft one is used to...

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Interoperability
by google_ninja on Fri 22nd Feb 2008 14:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Interoperability"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

hmm, i just wonder how long it will take them to do a "extend" on those implementations...


That is the kind of Microsoft from 10-15 years ago. We have seen real, consistant moves forward with IE and web standards. MS jumped on the web services bandwagon before most other people, but they were always very good with staying standards compliant. Instead of tying card spaces to passport, they learned from their mistake of trying to own single sign-in, and have been working with the Open ID guys.

maybe ones people are not looking and they have regained some online leverage/marketshare?


With IE is still #1 by a long shot, and card spaces is something not only they invented, but they have a competing single sign in for, and they still spent alot of time working with the OpenID guys.

Like I said before, we have seen the exact opposit attitude from MS then what you are implying for almost ten years now. How many more years of consistantly playing well with others will it take before even really good news like this isnt received poorly?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Interoperability
by Beta on Fri 22nd Feb 2008 15:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Interoperability"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

They’re not trying to tie OpenID to the hip of CardSpace at all, no, not at all…

…apart from all the rhetoric about OpenID needing a more verifiable way to prove your identity. They seem to forget browsers have had the ability for client certs for years. MyOpenID and prooveme already have this feature and it works flawlessly, no passwords needed.

If you think joining a foundation and then wasting a year talking about IP rights (rather than getting anywhere) is working for the better good, you’re confused.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Interoperability
by google_ninja on Fri 22nd Feb 2008 16:18 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Interoperability"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Card Spaces and OpenID are really aimed at two different things. CS is more geared towards private spheres of authentication, OpenID is geared towards a public persona. Either one is able to fill the whole space, but each really shine in different ways. And card spaces isn't the same as browser certificates. But what I was talking about didn't have as much to do with the technology, it had to do with Microsofts behavior.

The first point is that anyone can build a Card Spaces provider, it isn't tied to MS or Windows. 10 years ago they would have made it MS only (and they did, with passport).

The second point is that they worked closely with the OpenID guys to make their service complementary, not competing, which they would have ten years ago.

The third point is that they are integrating with OpenID (you can use your ID in the card file), even though passport still exists. The MS of ten years ago would NEVER have integrated with an open standard over their own propriatary competing product.

If you think joining a foundation and then wasting a year talking about IP rights (rather than getting anywhere) is working for the better good, you�€�re confused.


But they didn't do that. I just finished listening to a podcast with one of the OpenID guys, and he had nothing but good things to say about Microsoft and the way they are handling card spaces in regards to OpenID.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Interoperability
by shapeshifter on Fri 22nd Feb 2008 21:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Interoperability"
shapeshifter Member since:
2006-09-19

What are you talking about?
Have just landed from a different planet?
For last 10 years Microsoft has been fighting every inch of the way to keep and to gain more.
Microsoft is worse than ever, more arrogant than ever because they are richer and more powerfull than ever.
They laughed at two antitrust lawsuits, payed off all the other lawsuits and still have monopoly and own the whole market.
Can you say "All your markets,revenue, and profits are belong to us." ?

Reply Score: 6

RE[4]: Interoperability
by hobgoblin on Fri 22nd Feb 2008 21:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Interoperability"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

only reason they are going with openid was that no-one wanted to touch their passport system. im not sure if i have ever encountered one system outside of ms own that supported it.

so they either have to get with the program or be left behind for ones.

as for calling this "good news". read how they word themselves. it may sound good at first, but then one run into all kinds of references to cheap licenses and whatsnot.

there is also ooxml, where the version submitted to iso and the one used in ms office are not one and the same.

a leopard do not change its spots over night.

feel free to call me paranoid. but with microsoft history of embrance, extend, extinguish, this is to sudden of a change of behavior for me...

btw, was there not something about the gates foundation pulling a microsoft?

oh yes:
http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/02/19/0153254

Edited 2008-02-22 21:37 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Interoperability
by raver31 on Fri 22nd Feb 2008 17:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Interoperability"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

You sir, are full of mad dogs shit.
Take off them rose coloured glasses and have a look at the real world.

From the BBC news article;

"Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer said: "Our goal is to promote greater interoperability, opportunity and choice for customers and developers throughout the industry by making our products more open and by sharing even more information about our technologies."

In 2004, the commission fined Microsoft 497m euros (£375m, $735m) and forced it to offer a version of its Windows operating system without Microsoft's own media player.

The firm was also told to give competitors more information about how Windows operates, so their own software could work better with the operating system, which runs on some 90% of the world's computers.



Microsoft are not doing this as a choice, they are doing it as a DEMAND from the EU who found them guilty of practices which are illegal in the EU, is vendor lock-in. They are being FORCED to open up.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Interoperability - Linux in the cloud
by lemur2 on Sat 23rd Feb 2008 05:03 UTC in reply to "Interoperability"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

It's only interoperability for them if everyone operates on MS standards.


The "other side" has such a huge head start in interoperability (especially cross-platform inter-operable data exchange) that Microsoft is miles behind. Miles and miles ... light years behind even. Microsoft's past policies have virtually been for Microsoft to self-eliminate itself in interoperability applications.

If the next big thing in IT is "cloud computing" ... and Microsoft's formats do not prevail ... then Microsoft could conceivably be left out in the cold.

http://www.linuxtoday.com/high_performance/2008022202126OPBZSV

Interesting.

http://www.linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2008-02-22-021-26-OP...

Very interesting.

Edited 2008-02-23 05:08 UTC

Reply Score: 3

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

The "other side" has such a huge head start in interoperability (especially cross-platform inter-operable data exchange) that Microsoft is miles behind.


Dude, do yourself a favor and read more objective news sources than linuxtoday.com. You're only getting one side of the story -- and a very slanted side, at that. Today's data center is a big amalgam of differing software and hardware architectures -- and there isn't going to be a single side that emerges victorious here. IT managers have given MS notice that they expect the company to provide better interoperability support and, clearly, they're responding to that input. Perhaps, in your mind, you'd like to pretend that MS is going down in flames, but you're deluding yourself, if you think that "the other side" has all of the pieces necessary to interop with all of Microsoft's many corporate assets.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"The "other side" has such a huge head start in interoperability (especially cross-platform inter-operable data exchange) that Microsoft is miles behind.


Dude, do yourself a favor and read more objective news sources than linuxtoday.com. You're only getting one side of the story -- and a very slanted side, at that. Today's data center is a big amalgam of differing software and hardware architectures -- and there isn't going to be a single side that emerges victorious here. IT managers have given MS notice that they expect the company to provide better interoperability support and, clearly, they're responding to that input. Perhaps, in your mind, you'd like to pretend that MS is going down in flames, but you're deluding yourself, if you think that "the other side" has all of the pieces necessary to interop with all of Microsoft's many corporate assets.
"

Microsoft's "assets" are all concentrated in the desktop ... Microsoft are a distinct also-ran anywhere else.

Vista ... Microsoft's latest effort on the desktop ... is a bloated stinker.

http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/08/02/23/183219.shtml

Despite their doublespeak marketing claims, Microsoft are not responding to demands from their customers for interoperability, nor do they offer their customers any effective choice.

Where is Microsoft's offer of choice in Office document formats for their customers?

Where is Microsoft's support for anything other than Windows on x86? In lumping all their eggs in the Vista basket, where is Microsoft's decent support for anything low end, ultraportable, low power and low cost?

Where is Microsoft's interoperability when Microsoft's opposition all offer the elegant, unencumbered OpenDocument format ... which Microsoft's platform STILL cannot properly interoperate with?

Microsoft trying to get other parties to support Microsoft's proprietary formats ... while still mumbling about patents and suing under their breath ... is not interoperability. It is just misdirection, pure and simple. The market is awake to this.

Edited 2008-02-24 11:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Also mentioned in the press release:
by Xaero_Vincent on Thu 21st Feb 2008 22:28 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

Also, we’ll allow open source developers to access these protocols for free for development and non-commercial distribution. For commercial distribution, Microsoft will license related patents on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, at low royalty rates.


Except for GPLv3 applications shipped commercially this can work out just fine. Besides for Samba (who've already worked out a deal), my guess is FOSS solutions that attempt to inter-operate with Windows protocols will stick with GPLv2 or some other license.

Edited 2008-02-21 22:29 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Gaetano Member since:
2008-02-22

GPL software (including version 2) is widely used and written commercially and for commercial purposes. So this is not useful for GPL projects.

Reply Score: 5

Xaero_Vincent Member since:
2006-08-18

This is how it sounds:

FOSS projects may develop using the information for free and free distributions may ship it. But Microsoft expects some royalties from whomever ships the software via a for-profit distribution channel.

The GPLv3 prohibits patent royalties but not the GPLv2 and other OSS licenses. GPLv3 projects will likely need to join the Protocol Freedom Information Foundation (PFIF) for a solution.

Microsoft royalty requirements are now more creditable because they provide everyone access to their patented protocols under certain terms; whereas before today, FOSS developers reversed engineered the protocols and were largely unaware of any patents.

Reply Score: 4

mabhatter Member since:
2005-07-17

because protocols are very tenuous to patent in the first place and absolutely not patentable in a good part of the world. There's no legal reason to expect to pay royalties, except that Microsoft is really trying to use the EU leverage of "reasonable" to force there to be no more "free" software. Software patents of the type Microsoft is demanding royalties for don't exist in Europe for generic file types. They are attempting to re-write the law in the name of "complying" with an anti-trust court sentence. What other company has such brass balls?

Reply Score: 5

elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

FOSS projects may develop using the information for free and free distributions may ship it. But Microsoft expects some royalties from whomever ships the software via a for-profit distribution channel.


That's actually the way it more or less works now. MS has yet to pursue litigation against a FLOSS project; in fact, other than one case, they haven't really pursued litigation against non-FLOSS projects either, so realistically, nothing changes.

The GPLv3 prohibits patent royalties but not the GPLv2 and other OSS licenses. GPLv3 projects will likely need to join the Protocol Freedom Information Foundation (PFIF) for a solution.


Let's not re-hash this argument. v2 and v3 had the same patent provisions, it's just that v3 was more explicit about them; it doesn't make v2 any less viable.

At the end of the day, if you distribute GPL'd code, you imply a patent license for any recipients of that code. v2/v3 doesn't matter, and don't let the exploitation of the Novell/MS deal fool you. That deal wasn't found to violate the GPL v2, and they couldn't find a way to make v3 invalidate it, so they gave it a rider.

Microsoft royalty requirements are now more creditable because they provide everyone access to their patented protocols under certain terms; whereas before today, FOSS developers reversed engineered the protocols and were largely unaware of any patents.


How so? How are they more creditable? By paying a royalty, you're accepting their terms, this changes nothing. And paying MS royalties does not somehow strengthen their ability to pursue infringements with "non-payers", it's irrelevant.

FLOSS developers are still free to reverse-engineer protocols and work around them. Microsoft isn't publishing specific patents and outlining how they apply, so there's no risk of contamination there, although if they did it would help because it would make it easier to work around.

As I said in a previous post, I don't trust MS either, but let's keep the arguments rational and free from the usual clichees.

Reply Score: 6

Lobotomik Member since:
2006-01-03

Sorry, but you're not right about GPL2 and patent royalties. This is an excerpt from the GPL2:

if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Program


Which means, if there are patents implied, they have to be freely licensed, or the program may not be distributed at all. So this patent business is incompatible with GPL3 AND GPL2 code.

The only solution I see is that Microsoft reaches individual agreements with Redhat, Novell, IBM and Canonical and gets one-time payments from them in exchange from freely licensing the patents from then on, similarly to what they did with Samba. Maybe then Canonical might pay for ActiveSync, RedHat for SQLserver, Novell for ActiveDirectory etcetera, and offer them to the general public.

Reply Score: 5

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

A second option may be MS joining the patent group with Red Hat and the rest thus demonstraiting a true interest in addressing patent reform and working with other's interoperable standards.

(MS is one of the biggest patent targets and loudest supporters of patent reform after all; ick, I feel dirty after saying that)

Reply Score: 1

bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

Or what about the legalities of creating such software in a location where the patents do not apply (eg europe)?
Surely you could distribute something under compliance with local laws, and it's up to the receiver to determine if the software complies with his local laws. If you had to take account of the law in every possible location where you're code could be used, then you'd not have been able to distribute any code a few years ago, as it was illegal to own a computer in places like Iraq.

Reply Score: 1

sukru Member since:
2006-11-19

what about committing to open standards? hmm.. oh wait, that does not include the microsoft vendor lockin (tm)

You mean "open standards" as in LDAP, Kerberos, DNS, DHCP, HTTP, SMTP, CIFS, etc, which they use to build their server infrastructure ;)

Edited 2008-02-22 02:49 UTC

Reply Score: 3

monodeldiablo Member since:
2005-07-06

Did you really include Kerberos in that list?

Methinks you need to read up a bit on Microsoft's history, specifically the bit about "embrace, extend, extinguish". Kerberos is a prime example of their refusal to play nice in the open standards sandbox.

And regarding the rest of your list: The only reason Microsoft plays nicely with those protocols is because they were asleep when the internet was exploding. Microsoft was late to the internet cakewalk, and thus was forced to play by an existing set of rules. In retrospect, this was extremely fortunate for democracy, information, and the economy.

Don't assume that, because Microsoft implements *some* open standards (and only partially, with proprietary extensions), they're doing it by choice. They're not. The world would be a very different place with them behind the wheel.

Reply Score: 8

sukru Member since:
2006-11-19

Yes I did include Kerberos knowing the problems existed in the past. (And I still don't understand why I'm modded down whenever I say something positive about MS. They're not pure evil, you know?)

Anyways when necessary I was able to join an MS kerberos domain with standard Linux kerberos software (without samba tricks) very easily. MS kerberos also did set up proper DNS records for automatic server discovery.

This also occurred for LDAP directory services. I was able to access them from RedHat without any problems at all.

I'm not telling these because they're the best implementation out there. They're not. Their's is just one of the (good) ones. And don't come with (embrace-extend) accusations. They have bugs and sometimes they cannot fix it. This does not mean they want to change the protocols. (Yet in this case you just don't choose their products).

FYI: We've finally went with Fedora Directory Server for our system, even though we had Windows Server 2003 license. This came after evaluating several systems for their values.

Edited 2008-02-22 07:54 UTC

Reply Score: 3

monodeldiablo Member since:
2005-07-06

I never said that MS was evil. I also never modded you down.

Regarding the meat of your post:

1) The reason those Kerberos problems are now "in the past" is because they've been reverse-engineered by the open source community (much like SMB). Your ability to connect now with a non-Windows client says little about Microsoft's commitment to interoperability and everything about the open source community's ability to adapt.

2) I'm not the one making the "embrace-and-extend" accusations. The US Department of Justice did a fine enough job of that (based on Microsoft's own internal memos describing the practice in detail).

3) Microsoft's extensions to protocols and formats are rarely "bugs" in the accidental sense, and can most certainly be fixed. All open standards have at least one group dedicated to reviewing and improving the specification based on industry input. Microsoft repeatedly refuses to partake in this process, despite sitting on many such boards. Furthermore, it's been *categorically documented* that Microsoft knowingly and intentionally makes changes to protocols to prevent third-party implementations from having equal access. On this point, you're just wrong.

4) I don't personally care which directory server you've chosen, since I don't have a religious affiliation with Windows, Linux, OS X, or anything else. However, it's worth mentioning that you have a choice of vendors specifically *because* there's an open standard that predated Microsoft's (and a number of other proprietary giants') expansion into the arena. Don't be so quick to assume that your ability to choose between competing implementations of the same technology is inherent to technology in general.

Anybody who lived in the pre-PC, pre-TCP/IP, pre-[insert standardized item here] days can attest to how miserable it is to be locked into a proprietary technology in the physical sense (remember the myriad of incompatible networking, I/O, and peripheral plugs and slots?). It's amazing to me that people can't apply the lessons we've learned from that era to the electronic realm. Competition and innovation flourish when creative people are given a common, open environment to develop in.

Reply Score: 4

miro Member since:
2005-07-13

CIFS a standard, haha dream on, there is one old doc about CIFS and the best documentation is still samba source code (and cifs linux module). NTLM is not a standard and they force it on users even with HTTP. The problem is not that they don't endorse/use standards, the problem is that they deviate and make non-compatible extension instead of pushing for a common solution.

Reply Score: 5

hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

all sporting ms extensions...

Reply Score: 6

elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Except for GPLv3 applications shipped commercially this can work out just fine. Besides for Samba (who've already worked out a deal), my guess is FOSS solutions that attempt to inter-operate with Windows protocols will stick with GPLv2 or some other license.


How do you ship a GPL application commercially? You don't. You offer the application for free, and you make your revenue on support and services. v2 or v3 makes no difference here.

Reply Score: 1

dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

How do you ship a GPL application commercially?


There are several companies (Novell, Redhat, Mandriva etc.) that will sell you a CD or DVD with a bunch of GPL software on it. That migh count as being shipped commercially.

Of course they could counter and say that they're selling support contracts and manuals and that the CD/DVD is included for free. It's just that the only way to get that particular CD is through buying a support contract.

Reply Score: 4

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

In the case of Mandriva, they have the "One" configuration which is the liveCD with closed source programs where needed to make the One liveCD just work.

Above that, they have the "Free" configuration which is CD or DVD ISO which can be downloaded by anyone (like the One liveCD) and used at no licensing cost.

Above that, they have the "Power User" configuration which is a 70$ licensing cost and includes the full range of open or closed source packaged for Mandriva.

In this case, there are two levels of none consumer distribution available with one level of consumer distribution so MS would be gunning for royalties on any of those third level DVD/CD boxed sales but they likely have no grounds to chase after the lower two levels.

(I've not read over the Mandriva site in a while so they may have four different configs but that's pretty close to there setup when last I read)

Reply Score: 1

bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

I thought they specifically mentioned commercial *use* as opposed to commercial distribution...
Thus if you're company obtains and starts using this code, microsoft want to charge you or sue you.

Reply Score: 2

open standards
by renhoek on Thu 21st Feb 2008 22:33 UTC
renhoek
Member since:
2007-04-29

what about committing to open standards? hmm.. oh wait, that does not include the microsoft vendor lockin (tm)

Reply Score: 6

History
by flanque on Thu 21st Feb 2008 23:40 UTC
flanque
Member since:
2005-12-15

If history is anything to go by, you'd have to be skeptical about this.

Reply Score: 11

RE: History
by irbis on Sat 23rd Feb 2008 01:39 UTC in reply to "History"
irbis Member since:
2005-07-08

Yup. Groklaw has an enlightening article on this including a list of ten previous Microsoft statements promising interoperability, plus other examples from history:

Promises, Promises from Microsoft. Again.
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080221184924826

Conclusion from the article:
"For the right fee you can interoperate. Otherwise you can't."

Reply Score: 3

i think i've heard this before...
by pixel8r on Fri 22nd Feb 2008 02:48 UTC
pixel8r
Member since:
2007-08-11

deja-vu anyone?

Reply Score: 3

Committed to interoperability?
by tux68 on Fri 22nd Feb 2008 05:04 UTC
tux68
Member since:
2006-10-24

It sounds as if they're only committed to ensuring that anyone who interoperates with them, writes them a cheque.

Reply Score: 9

MAPI
by lawina on Fri 22nd Feb 2008 05:11 UTC
lawina
Member since:
2006-01-20

Most importantly, will they be opening up MAPI (Exchange server protocol)?

Reply Score: 3

v With greater ...
by Moulinneuf on Fri 22nd Feb 2008 05:26 UTC
about values
by trenchsol on Sat 23rd Feb 2008 14:13 UTC
trenchsol
Member since:
2006-12-07

Some people simply do not understand that values promoted by FSF and some other organizations are not universally accepted and acceptable. Organizations and individuals that make living out of selling software they make (not services, not support and not education) might find those principles harmful to them. Those will never accept licenses like GPL, for example.

For people "in trenches" that have to work and live in heterogeneous networks EVERY BIT of interoperability is precious, regardless of political agenda behind it.

I welcome the move from Redmond, still remembering the days of Bill Gates, when Microsoft threatened to cut me away from the rest of the world for not using their products exclusively.

Reply Score: 2