Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 23rd Mar 2009 23:25 UTC, submitted by poundsmack
Microsoft After the iPhone's success with the easy installation of applications using the iPhone App Store, more and more companies have tried to implement similar application delivery models in other markets. The most recent example is Microsoft, who has launched a sot of app store for... Open source server software. Yes, you read that right.
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App Store
by de_wizze on Mon 23rd Mar 2009 23:46 UTC
de_wizze
Member since:
2005-10-31

You mean functional Public Software Repositories .. some how I feel I've heard about those before?

Reply Score: 8

RE: App Store
by spiderman on Tue 24th Mar 2009 09:39 UTC in reply to "App Store"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

You are too close minded.
Apple invented the computer, the mouse, the graphical interface, the word processor, the hard drive, the mp3, the phone and the touch-screen, they might as well have invented the application repository.
To convince yourself that they invented it all, you just have to 'Think Different' (TM)

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: App Store
by rockwell on Tue 24th Mar 2009 16:17 UTC in reply to "RE: App Store"
rockwell Member since:
2005-09-13

Um, i thought the article was about Microsoft ...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: App Store - they "invented" all that?
by jabbotts on Tue 24th Mar 2009 16:45 UTC in reply to "RE: App Store"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"You are too close minded.
Apple invented the computer, the mouse, the graphical interface, the word processor, the hard drive, the mp3, the phone and the touch-screen, they might as well have invented the application repository.
To convince yourself that they invented it all, you just have to 'Think Different' (TM)"

The computer was invented long before Apple.

I thought the mouse interface was an extension of the lightpen interface out of early warning terminals.

The graphic interface came from the PARC project and Xerox. Or, at least, they implemented the WIMP graphic interface based on previous ideas.

Word processors existed long before apple though the spreadsheet was the first computer application (Ye' Old ENIAC calculating artillery trajectories).

The hard drive storage was not Apple's creation though they chose the better SCSI bus for there machines. Hard drives existed before Lisa though.

The mobile phone and touch screen are not remotely Apple inventions. Multitouch existed long before Apple put it in a phone and Microsoft put it in a table.

The MP3 format is not Apple's either. The early iPods actually defaulted (or iTunes encoding) to a more closed format but the MP1, MP3, MP4 formats where not products of Apple's labs.

I agree that shooting down the MS Appstore idea before seeing how it goes is close minded but if you think all the things you list are Apple's own babies, you might want to read a computer history book and rethink that theory.

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

See, Spiderman responding would probably result in pointing out if he was serious or going for humour. Granted, you providing a link to the definition of "irony" without pointing out any context is about as helpful.

So, in your opinion, was Spiderman serious or making a joke that got lost by being presented in a text medium?

Reply Score: 1

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

It was a pretty obvious joke, as none of those are true. "Whoosh" would have been a better response than the irony entry on wiki.

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

ha.. true.. that would have been the stinger. Much more obvious in text.

Reply Score: 2

v Words from the wise
by bannor99 on Mon 23rd Mar 2009 23:59 UTC
comment all the over from Belfast UK
by raver31 on Tue 24th Mar 2009 00:11 UTC
raver31
Member since:
2005-07-06

So what ?

Microsoft decides to include open source software in the repositories and eweek decide this is a story ?

It is open source so anyone is free to distribute it, as long as they dont claim they OWN it. These rights also include Microsoft's rights to distribute it as well.

Maybe Microsoft realise that they cannot charge customers for each and every piece of software, much as they would like to, but to actively promote giving away software might make one or two people stick with Windows a while longer, rather than make the jump to Linux, BSD or another open source system.

Microsoft should neither be applauded nor reprimanded for this move, it is simply another service.

Edited 2009-03-24 00:12 UTC

Reply Score: 4

TBPrince Member since:
2005-07-06

True. But I bet MS is only including selected open-source software which runs well on Windows/IIS. That's not innovative at all, of course, but it's a good service for Windows Server users willing to discover which software is somewhat "endorsed" (meaning, they suggest it runs very well on Windows).

Nice service, under their point of view.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I think its an admission that the easiest to use, most popular web applications are not Microsoft specific ( as they don't require any MS software and are written in php). Apparently, Microsoft believes that there is also an audience that would like the familiarity of a windows server to run these open source apps on.


I really am confused why anyone would want to run wordpress on a MS server. I can't imagine many people would want to. Furthermore, they're only including MSSQL server express edition. Mysql really would have been a more natural choice for wordpress, drupal, et all.

Reply Score: 1

TBPrince Member since:
2005-07-06

I think its an admission that the easiest to use, most popular web applications are not Microsoft specific ( as they don't require any MS software and are written in php).


You're discovering warm water. That was a fact. Biggest communities of developers are those using Java and PHP. In recent years Microsoft was able to put two feet inside middle-end market and a foot inside high-end market but it's still far in low-end market. When did anyone from MS said that they rule Web apps market?

[q] Apparently, Microsoft believes that there is also an audience that would like the familiarity of a windows server to run these open source apps on. I really am confused why anyone would want to run wordpress on a MS server. I can't imagine many people would want to.[q/]

That's because you don't know how good those platforms are. And you also seem not to know how much MS web platform grew in last 3-4 years (since Win2003).

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

That's because you don't know how good those platforms are. And you also seem not to know how much MS web platform grew in last 3-4 years (since Win2003).


Guilty as charged. However, are they worth the licensing cost? What is the benefit of paying the MS license for a web server, if all it does is run wordpress?

List price is $999.00. What benefit do I receive for that money over the $0.00 cost of CentOs?

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/pricing.aspx?pf=tr...

Reply Score: 1

TBPrince Member since:
2005-07-06

However, are they worth the licensing cost? What is the benefit of paying the MS license for a web server, if all it does is run wordpress? List price is $999.00. What benefit do I receive for that money over the $0.00 cost of CentOs? http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/pricing.aspx?pf=tr...


I'm glad that we switched to money matters. Are they worth the price? That's very subjective and that's usually up to the business model you selected. To me, it makes sense but that might be different for you.

Notice that many organizations can get Windows for a cheaper price if acquired through SPLA. Anyway, for sure, price is a very important element, though it's not the only one.

What you get if you pay for Windows server? For example the chance to run MS stack along with your PHP infrastructure. At the same time, a very good PHP support for Windows let you free to run a PHP app if you need it.

For sure, currently PHP runs better on Unix systems than it does on Windows but performance delta is not that big now and in most cases that could depend on Unix-specific optimizations/features. That's what MS could work on to close the gap.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

That makes sense, I guess. If you are using the server for multiple purposes, and the other one depends upon the MS stack. So maybe a multipurpose intranet server of some sort. I still think that's a small market, but maybe its just not my natural habitat.

Reply Score: 1

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

I really am confused why anyone would want to run wordpress on a MS server. I can't imagine many people would want to.


Speaking as someone who regularly works with both UNIX and Windows-based hosting, it makes sense if you already have a need for Windows-based hosting - and you want to use WordPress as well. It's also not terribly difficult, considering that PHP and MySQL both run just fine on Windows-based servers, and so does Apache for that matter.

I actually see the above as a point in favour of UNIX-based servers (and the *AMP stack in general) - the reason being that PHP/MySQL/etc apps can usually run fine on either UNIX or Windows servers. But the reverse isn't true - an ASP/MSSQL app is effectively limited to Windows servers.

Reply Score: 2

It's Pretty Simple Really
by segedunum on Tue 24th Mar 2009 01:18 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

Microsoft wants to get further forward in the server world, particularly where Linux systems tend to rule because of the open source software available and how easy it is to get it installed through various package managers. Systems running web applications are the most obvious use case where Microsoft are short, which is why the applications they're most interested in here is stuff like PHP, obviously enough. They also want to sell that new fangled Azure cloud platform that no one wants to people already using Linux and open source software for the same purpose.

It's funny in a way. Microsoft wants to create an impression that you can get all the functionality for a Windows Server for free that you can with a modern package managed Linux distribution, just as Linux distributions currently lack the ability to install software quickly and easily beyond their own repositories.

Will it work? I doubt it. Not unless you want to create lots of applications for free to help Microsoft make several more billions out of Windows Server usage and actually make the Azure cloud platform mean something to people. Microsoft doesn't seem to have got the whole 'exchange' part of open source software. Such previous Microsoft initiatives have been populated almost exclusively by Microsoft developed applications with little, if any, third-party input because there's little incentive. Are any PHP people really going to put effort into helping this or are people really going to port their PHP web applications just so they can move from Linux, BSD or a 'Unix' to Windows Server just so Microsoft can make more of a buck? It's a similar proposition to developers moving desktop applications from Windows to Linux, except even less so.

"What we're also looking at is monetization, and we need to create a back-end system for this,"

I think someone wants to point out to her that the reason why Linux and open source software is ubiquitous within 'cloud' computing is because it is free of little restrictions like licensing, and I'm afraid people have little obligation to help make Microsoft more money off the back of something that they're already doing.

New blood at Microsoft? A new way of thinking? Pfffffffffffff.

Edited 2009-03-24 01:21 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: It's Pretty Simple Really
by google_ninja on Tue 24th Mar 2009 01:30 UTC in reply to "It's Pretty Simple Really"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

They also want to sell that new fangled Azure cloud platform that no one wants to people already using Linux and open source software for the same purpose.


SOME people are using Amazon EC2, less are using Google AppEngine, other then that "Cloud Computing" is non existant. IMO it is a stupid idea that will fade rather quickly once people realize that noone is really doing anything big with it. It shows how little microsoft understands the whole web thing even now that they are so eager to push an offering.

Microsoft doesn't seem to have got the whole 'exchange' part of open source software. Such previous Microsoft initiatives have been populated almost exclusively by Microsoft developed applications with little, if any, third-party input because there's little incentive.


You mean like www.codeplex.com?

Are any PHP people really going to put effort into helping this or are people really going to port their PHP web applications just so they can move from Linux, BSD or a 'Unix' to Windows Server just so Microsoft can make more of a buck?


No, thats why MS put so much time and energy into PHP and FCGI in IIS7 to make it a first rate php platform.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: It's Pretty Simple Really
by segedunum on Tue 24th Mar 2009 12:02 UTC in reply to "RE: It's Pretty Simple Really"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

SOME people are using Amazon EC2, less are using Google AppEngine, other then that "Cloud Computing" is non existant.

Is it? It's certainly lowered the cost dramatically of getting on the web with a fully controllable web server with scalable resource when users need it.

This happens every day of the week with virtual servers and Virtual Private Servers are all over the place so I don't know why you think it's all non existent. It's just that this sort of thing has had a marketing term of 'cloud computing' slapped on it.

IMO it is a stupid idea that will fade rather quickly once people realize that noone is really doing anything big with it.

Hmmmm, so why is Microsoft running around frantically waving it's arms in the air with this Azure thing then?

Cloud computing very much exists, but people just don't know or need to care about it. It's not a marketing term you can really apply. It just....is. It is covered by things like virtualisation, being able to failover and migrate to different hardware without users knowing and having a software platform that scales in an unlimited way both technology and licensing wise. Unless Microsoft is willing to give up on licensing as a source of revenue then they don't have any chance here because this is as far away from per-seat, per-computer and per-CPU licensing as you can get.

What's required here is that you can add machines, installations and software liberally as you need them in an unlimited way. That's why you don't see Windows being used in these kinds of setups, and if you do, they're exorbitantly expensive when compared with an open source option.

You mean like www.codeplex.com?

Yer. Exactly like CodePlex ;-).

No, thats why MS put so much time and energy into PHP and FCGI in IIS7...

Exactly. So it's Microsoft putting all this effort in with no input from any PHP developers because they see no incentive to do so? Point made I think. Unless you get people actually writing the software involved in supporting it then it doesn't mean very much, and as PHP developers are writing open source code then they already have platforms that are more helpful to them there.

...to make it a first rate php platform.

People already have a first rate PHP platform and they don't have to port anything over. It's a very tough sell.

Reply Score: 3

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Cloud computing and virtual private servers are two different things. Cloud computing gives you a persistence framework and api to take care of your data for you, and comes with a CDN built in to distribute your stuff for you. It is a platform to build on, while a virtual private server gives you a virtual machine you can stick whatever you want on. This makes alot of sense for google and amazon, since they already have their own caching/persistence framework, cdn, and global datacenters. They are just renting out bits of their infrastructure.

The reason I think cloud computing is going to fail is because you are not in full control of your data. Data is the most valuable asset for most companies, and most people want to be in full control of what is going on with it, not having it float around in some part of googles pay for service datacenters, only having it be accessable through googles propriatary apis. With MS azure, the only reason anyone is talking about it at all is that they are selling the server software, so you have a migration path to self host if you want to go that way in the future. But why buy loads of special software and learn a new platform when they already have a perfectly fine one as it is that is free?

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Cloud computing very much exists, but people just don't know or need to care about it. It's not a marketing term you can really apply. It just....is. It is covered by things like virtualisation, being able to failover and migrate to different hardware without users knowing and having a software platform that scales in an unlimited way both technology and licensing wise.


I'm not sure that's what cloud computing really is. I certainly wouldn't say that running a pair of load balancer in front of two webservers for high availability is "cloud computing". Maybe dynamically scaling the app for load.

Reply Score: 1

RE: It's Pretty Simple Really
by lcooney on Tue 24th Mar 2009 03:51 UTC in reply to "It's Pretty Simple Really"
lcooney Member since:
2009-03-24

Hi there,

Good feedback- always appreciate it. Just to clarify, when we talk about the idea of monetization at some point in time - we're referring to making developers that submit applications to the gallery money - not Microsoft. One of the things we are looking at possibly doing for the future is adding additional functionality where folks could sell their apps on the gallery - so this doesn't refer to MS making money - it refers to us helping the communities out there be successful.

My team's (Web Platform) goal here is to make developers that build on top of Windows, regardless of language, etc - successful. And by giving folks (1) opportunity to distribute their apps and (2) the option to download easy building blocks/apps/code to help them build solutions better, it makes everyone's life easier.

Just wanted to clarify...

Oh, and as a side note, I was part of the team over at BEA that helped put XMLBeans and Beehive into Apache, at IBM I worked with the Geronimo team, and then supported several Eclipse projects. I'm also a huge advocate over at MS for looking at different ways to partner/incorporate OS into the way that we do things. So not sure if you consider that "new blood" but I figured I'd give you some background there ;)

Thanks,
/LC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: It's Pretty Simple Really
by panzer_mroq on Tue 24th Mar 2009 07:56 UTC in reply to "RE: It's Pretty Simple Really"
panzer_mroq Member since:
2006-11-24

Hi,

While probably all of us here appreciate your work no one will seriously change their thinking of Microsoft. This is because their recent moves have nothing to do with working together with open source. I am talking particularly about the recent TomTom lawsuit.

http://www.osnews.com/comments/21182

I am not going into details about this case because you probably know them but suing a company for patent infringment on a technology used just because it needs to *interoperate* with Windows isn't considered friendly. New blood at microsoft ? You probably are the new blood but the nonsense still continues so who cares. There is even Ballmer scaring us with his 200 patents that the Linux kernel supposedly infringes. Which ones ? Shhhh, it's a secret. Pure textbook FUD.

More to the point, there is still the OOXML "standarization" process which only gives more evidence that in fact Microsoft's attempts to "embrace" ( ... extend and extinguish) FOSS are pure PR hype. We need to judge Microsoft based on their deeds not their words.

//br
Maciej Grela

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: It's Pretty Simple Really
by -oblio- on Tue 24th Mar 2009 08:06 UTC in reply to "RE: It's Pretty Simple Really"
-oblio- Member since:
2008-05-27

Your customers seem to be hinting at a missing block for the Web Platform: http://www.microsoft.com/web/gallery/WordPress.aspx


"Cons: it requires MySQL, which Web PI doesn't install for you, and you'll have to manage/backup separately from the Web application."

If you want to replace LAMP, I guess you need M too ;)

Edited 2009-03-24 08:06 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: It's Pretty Simple Really
by segedunum on Tue 24th Mar 2009 12:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It's Pretty Simple Really"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

"Cons: it requires MySQL, which Web PI doesn't install for you, and you'll have to manage/backup separately from the Web application."

Now let's ask ourserlves why that might be and ask ourselves a rational question:

If Microsoft provide an easy and supported way of installing a wide variety of software directly, with MySQL and/or Postgres as examples, a lot of which competes directly with Microsoft's own software and is available at zero cost (and is downloadable and configurable at zero cost now thanks to Microsoft) does anyone seriously think that product groups such as SQL Server are not going to get pissed? Afterall, they took two barrels to the head of WinFS in Windows and that was nothing like this.

Reply Score: 5

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yeah, I was wondering about that. Wasn't sure if someone had written a plugin to replace Mysql with MSSQL ( the express version is available in the app store thingine). A quick google search reveals it requires a near rewrite of wordpress. Not the easiest thing in the world.

Something like xampp would be a lot easier for getting wordpress et all running open source on Windows.

http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp-windows.html

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: It's Pretty Simple Really
by segedunum on Tue 24th Mar 2009 12:13 UTC in reply to "RE: It's Pretty Simple Really"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Just to clarify, when we talk about the idea of monetization at some point in time - we're referring to making developers that submit applications to the gallery money - not Microsoft.

If you say so, and I won't debate it here ;-).

Oh, and as a side note, I was part of the team over at BEA that helped put XMLBeans and Beehive into Apache, at IBM I worked with the Geronimo team, and then supported several Eclipse projects.

You've got an even bigger task now ;-). I wish you the best of luck, but I think you can understand the scepticism of people when they see what you're trying to do in the face of dozens of powerful product groups at Microsoft raking in billions who don't want their lunch eaten by the very same open source software (and third-party ISV software!) you want your users to install ;-).

So not sure if you consider that "new blood" but I figured I'd give you some background there ;)

I don't doubt that there is some new 'individual' blood coming in but it's the overall I'm looking at, and I just wonder whether it's enough to overcome a deeply entrenched business model. To make this work you'll need to help Microsoft find a new one.

You do have something that could be quite compelling here, but I just see competing interests all over the place.

Edited 2009-03-24 12:21 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: It's Pretty Simple Really
by TBPrince on Tue 24th Mar 2009 15:23 UTC in reply to "RE: It's Pretty Simple Really"
TBPrince Member since:
2005-07-06

That's very intesting, Lauren.

A WebApp Store which could carry MS-optimized versions of popular OSS (i.e. optimized to run on Windows/IIS and SQL Server, maybe) could have a market value. God knows how many people ask us how to run Wordpress or Joomla in a very performant way on our Windows platforms. I bet that, if done right, this could also have a monetary value.

A showcase of Windows-compatible open-source Web applications is also very interesting. A repository for hacks, modifications, optimizations, integrations and components which are Windows-compatible or Windows-specific or Windows-optimized would also be a good thing.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by satan666
by satan666 on Tue 24th Mar 2009 01:46 UTC
satan666
Member since:
2008-04-18

Great news! This is a far cry from not long ago when Microsoft was charging lots of money for crappy products. Now they actually pay developers and give away the applications for free. I think the things are going in the right direction.
Does Microsoft hope that the Linux, BSD, OpenSolaris etc. developers will switch to the new Microsoft Open Source Community? I have a feeling that this won't happen.
This open source thing is just another me-too thing from Microsoft.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by satan666
by wakeupneo on Tue 24th Mar 2009 05:31 UTC in reply to "Comment by satan666"
wakeupneo Member since:
2005-07-06

This open source thing is just another me-too thing from Microsoft.


Personally, I think it's simply a case of MS employing people less hostile to the FOSS way of doing things. You can bury your head in the sand for only so long and I think internally the idea that Open Source would be defeated in the marketplace or just 'go away' is finally being put to rest.

I'm no fan of Microsoft or the way they've done business in the past, but it's good to see them finally attempt some co-operation with the FOSS community.

Now if they'd just stop doing everything they can to work against ODF and bribing officials to force 'standards' I'd be happy...

Reply Score: 3

If nothing else
by license_2_blather on Tue 24th Mar 2009 05:32 UTC
license_2_blather
Member since:
2006-02-05

It's a way to beta test, if you will, this service. MS doesn't have to go to too much trouble and few if any legal hassles opening it up for distribution of open-source packages, as they might with third-party commercial ISVs.

What it means for the future I don't know, but it's a low-risk proposition for MS right now.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Tue 24th Mar 2009 10:13 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

This is a new direction for Microsoft, and is a further sign that slowly but surely, the company is learning to work with open source, instead of against it.


No, it's a sign that Microsoft have no monopoly on the web so they're trying to take control by embracing the 'enemy' (to gain their market share) before changing standards to lock out the enemy and keep their market share.

This tactic happens time and time again (and not just by Microsoft)

Reply Score: 4

Comment by moleskine
by moleskine on Tue 24th Mar 2009 10:25 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

Interesting that eweek call it a "marketplace". A slip of the pen or a sign of things to come? At present the site is a gallery of cost-free web apps. The Microsoft website looks like something they could take down tomorrow and no one would notice so it will be interesting to see whether it builds and lasts.

My guess is that the target is LAMP, particularly the "A" part. They've lined up the ducks, and primo targets are Apache (IIS) and PHP (asp.net).

Edited 2009-03-24 10:30 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Suspicion Again
by _QJ_ on Tue 24th Mar 2009 12:29 UTC
_QJ_
Member since:
2009-03-12

Microsoft did so much bad things to the open source community and standards in the past...

Now, it is really hard to believe they are changing.

If new blood like Lauren Cooney sound truly honest, I'd like to know what, her MS's top management, really think deep down about open source.

Frankly, I doubt that this move has not a strategic purpose.

Reply Score: 2