Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 7th Jun 2012 01:59 UTC
Microsoft Infoworld: "After years of battling Linux as a competitive threat, Microsoft is now offering Linux-based operating systems on its Windows Azure cloud service. The Linux services will go live on Azure at 4 a.m. EDT on Thursday. At that time, the Azure portal will offer a number of Linux distributions, including Suse Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2, OpenSuse 12.01, CentOS 6.2 and Canonical Ubuntu 12.04. Azure users will be able to choose and deploy a Linux distribution from the Microsoft Windows Azure Image Gallery and be charged on an hourly pay-as-you-go basis." SmartGlass on iOS and Android, Office supposedly coming to iOS and Android, Linux on Azure... It's almost as if Microsoft finally got the memo that 'Windows everywhere' can't be a reality any longer.
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bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Actually where have YOU been? MSFT has been making money off of Linux for a couple of years now, which is why Ballmer hasn't been saying much about it. they have been offering SUSE licenses with their WinServer and hyper-V products for awhile now. This is just an extension of what they've already been doing.

Reply Score: 5

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Forgot about the whole Novell agreement and SUSE controversy. That happened quite a while ago. Either way, I in no way claimed to write the whole god damn story down... I just gave a few examples that quickly came to mind.

Reply Score: 1

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

You forgot (?) to mention vendors shipping Android. Supposedly Microsoft makes more money on Android per device sold (about 5 to 15 dollars a piece) than Windows Phone.

Reply Score: 3

glarepate Member since:
2006-01-04

And if the estimate of sales volume posted over at WMPoweruser is correct and they have sold 13 million licenses to handset makers and have also collected about $500 million in Android 'revenues' then they have paid almost that whole amount from both platforms to Barnes and Noble to make them drop their patent abuse suit.

Fortunately they are making money elsewhere ...

Edited 2012-06-08 16:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

It's not a joke, it's for companies that are already buying Azure for Windows Server and are going to spend money on Linux web servers so they might as well write one check.

Reply Score: 3

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

Don't they already get enough money


Maybe you don't agree or understand the basics of why companies exist, but making more money is pretty high on the list of things to do.

if you choose MS Azure, its really you that have chosen the VM. I don't think there will be many takers over Amazon Cloud, but that might be a good way to have a little better redundancy that what a single provider can give.

Reply Score: 5

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

They're hosting the fucking infrastructure, providing up time guarantees, keeping the machines patched and up to date, and allowing you to scale out as needed.

You're utterly and completely indoctrinated.

Reply Score: 7

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

They're hosting the fucking infrastructure, providing up time guarantees, keeping the machines patched and up to date, and allowing you to scale out as needed.


I'm curious how much, if any, money they gave to the companies behind the GNU/Linux distributions they offer. I understand that GPL licensed software can be -- and often is -- sold or otherwise used to generate income, despite the fact that it is a free/Free commodity. I just wonder if Microsoft is maximizing their profits by leeching off of other tech giants. It certainly wouldn't be the first time.

I also wonder if they are following the Almighty and Holy GPL to the letter. It would be a shame if they were leveraging Free software by violating its license agreement, while strongly enforcing their own EULAs as usual.

Reply Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I'm curious how much, if any, money they gave to the companies behind the GNU/Linux distributions they offer.


I'm guessing there's a reason RHEL is not included.

I also wonder if they are following the Almighty and Holy GPL to the letter.


Unless they make any changes to the distros they are.

Reply Score: 6

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Unless they make any changes to the distros they are.


That's kind of what I'm wondering, would they have to make any changes to the distros to integrate them into the Azure system? I don't know that much about Azure so I have no idea. In the past Microsoft has shied away from Free software in part because of the restrictions of the GPL.

As much as I dislike the GPL itself, I understand its necessity and I hope Microsoft abides by it if they do have to alter the software.

Reply Score: 2

Sodki Member since:
2005-11-10

That's kind of what I'm wondering, would they have to make any changes to the distros to integrate them into the Azure system? I don't know that much about Azure so I have no idea. In the past Microsoft has shied away from Free software in part because of the restrictions of the GPL.

As much as I dislike the GPL itself, I understand its necessity and I hope Microsoft abides by it if they do have to alter the software.


I very much doubt that they have to alter the software. They probably just have to change some configuration files.

Reply Score: 3

jessesmith Member since:
2010-03-11

The GPL is a copyright license. It doesn't matter if they make changes to the distributions. As long as Microsoft doesn't redistribute their changes they are under no obligation to provide their source code changes. Since their service is a cloud based on (ie the distros run on their computers) the GPL does not apply.

Reply Score: 5

vaette Member since:
2008-08-09

One datapoint suggesting that they are playing ball: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2166123/microsoft-contribu...

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

It's interesting to see that they are contributing more than Canonical. Thank you for posting that!

Reply Score: 3

Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

One datapoint suggesting that they are playing ball:

Playing ball? It wasn't as if they chose to open source the Hyper-V Linux code as they were forced to submit it because it was discovered that they'd been shipping closed source binaries with a Hyper-V Linux network driver which used statically linked GPL-licenced code.

And the only reason they created the Linux specific virtualization drivers to begin with is because their Hyper-V customers wanted to be able to run Linux efficiently.

Please don't try to paint this as a 'Microsoft did the right thing out of their own accord' thing.

Reply Score: 3

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

You have zero evidence for either of your accusations. What is this, Fox News?

Reply Score: 3

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

They aren't accusations, they are speculation based on prior experience. Others pointed out long ago in this thread that Microsoft is indeed playing by the rules regarding the second matter, and that makes me happy.

As for the other issue, I'd simply like to know. It won't affect me either way as I don't plan on using an Azure instance, I'm just curious.

Cool your jets lady, I'm not raising a Grand Inquisition against your pet company. The last I checked, we were allowed to discuss matters from several different viewpoints here; who made you dictator?

Reply Score: 3

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

They don't have to release their changes anymore than Google.

Google's internal build of Linux would likely have useful changes while tweaks for Azure are probably worthless to anyone but Microsoft.

You're looking at this backwards if you are a Linux fan. Not offering Linux is what should put your panties in a bunch.

Reply Score: 2

sithlord2 Member since:
2009-04-02

So when they offer a choice between Linux and Windows on Azure, they are "abusing their monopoly"?

Oh BTW, since when does MS have a monopoly on Cloud Services?? The market is quite big, you know (Google, Amaon, Rackspace, Linode,...).

Reply Score: 2

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

Supporting Linux on their cloud computing is not related to their repeated abuses of monopolistic behavior. At least not yet.

Now if IE could only connect to websites that were hosted by azure, then that would be an abuse and your comment would have made sense.

If they were sending bills to every company that ran linux installs in the cloud, that would be an abuse.

Reply Score: 4

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Whether or not you know what you are talking about you it is totally irrelevant to the subject at hand.

Reply Score: 3

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Yes. That's how public clouds work.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Microsoft wants YOU to pay THEM for the privilege of running a Linux distribution of THEIR choice in a virtual machine, by the hour? Uhhh... sorry, Microsoft, but f*** no.


You're free not to use it.
For Microsoft this is probably the smartest thing they could have done. Windows in the cloud is incredibly awkward and if they want people to use Azure they have to offer an alternative.

Reply Score: 3

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

For Microsoft this is probably the smartest thing they could have done. Windows in the cloud is incredibly awkward and if they want people to use Azure they have to offer an alternative.

Yes, Windows in the "cloud" is incredibly awkward... which is why running Windows 8 with a Microsoft Passport instead of a traditional account feels so... wrong. Just as much as paying Microsoft to run Linux distributions in a VM on their "cloud" is.

Yes, fair enough, poor joke--but still, cloud ANYTHING sucks. Of course, that's just my opinion. And paying Microsoft to run a third-party OS that they slammed to hell and back with empty patent threats (and are now profiting off of these very threats) and called a "cancer" just seems like a joke.

Sure, it's their servers you're running it on, but everything else all added up just makes it seem... completely wrong. It's not that hard to download a virtual machine program and install the distro yourself... and you won't be restricted to the four that Microsoft has, for whatever reason after all their threats of Linux in general, decided to bless.

Reply Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Just as much as paying Microsoft to run Linux distributions in a VM on their "cloud" is.


So you're saying that they shouldn't charge anything for the service if you run Linux? That's like saying you shouldn't have to pay for your hardware if you run Linux.

It's not that hard to download a virtual machine program and install the distro yourself


The target audience for this service isn't people who wan't to test out a distro and play around with it.
It's about running servers on the (supposedly) high-availability Azure service. It's for companies that have Windows servers on Azure but their Linux servers somewhere else (like EC2) or those who have stayed away from Azure due to the lack of non-Windows support.

Reply Score: 3

dragos.pop Member since:
2010-01-08

Microsoft wants YOU to pay THEM for the privilege of running a Linux distribution of THEIR choice in a virtual machine, by the hour? Uhhh... sorry, Microsoft, but f*** no.


No, Microsoft want you to pay for renting there hardware and cloud infrastructure. You are free to use linux in a VM at home or in your private cloud.
Amazon is doing the same.

What is new is that MS allows you to use linux on there cloud.

If anything, this is MS way to say that Windows is not convincing enough for cloud computing.

Except that all they offer is the same as Amazon + the ability to use windows in the cloud.

I would still use Amazon because of interoperability with private clouds. I don't know any private cloud infrastructure that supports Azure API.

Reply Score: 4

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

I would still use Amazon because of interoperability with private clouds. I don't know any private cloud infrastructure that supports Azure API.


The company I work for, has a few customers doing Azure based projects.

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

If anything, this is MS way to say that Windows is not convincing enough for cloud computing.


Uh no the is a way for MS to make money from mixed shops.

If you think that Windows isn't "hardcore" enough or something for cloud computing then you should update your computer knowledge base from Slashdot 1999. Watch as both their Windows and Linux offerings have similar uptimes.

Edited 2012-06-08 00:33 UTC

Reply Score: 2

mlaporte Member since:
2006-01-07

How is that different than what Amazon does with AWS, and tons of other cloud providers as well?

You're paying for the infrastructure service they offer. They handle the hardware, power, storage, etc. parts. That cost them money. That's why they are asking to be paid for the service.

You would expect them to provide you with hardware for free?

Reply Score: 3

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Microsoft wants YOU to pay THEM for the privilege of running a Linux distribution of THEIR choice in a virtual machine, by the hour? Uhhh... sorry, Microsoft, but f*** no.


How different is this from IBM and Oracle clouds for Linux?


Don't they already get enough money off of virtually every PC sold with the Windows tax, virtually every Android phone sold through the Microsoft patent tax, and soon enough off of every single ARM-based tablet, laptop and desktop that will come with Windows 8? And of course, that's not counting their somewhat legitimate sources of income, including the Xbox 360 and phones that were designed around their Windows Phone/Windows Mobile OS?

What a joke.


Microsoft abuses a lot their position on the market, but if one sees it without taking sides, Microsoft is no different from any other driven by profit corporation.

Reply Score: 2

shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

I think the only difference is the inherent hate to Linux from Microsoft, and their historic effort to hinder any Linux advancement. But in this case they had to swallow their anger, since they are getting money in the end. While Oracle isn't a nice company either, they never considered Linux a primary enemy.

Edited 2012-06-07 16:18 UTC

Reply Score: 3

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

While Oracle isn't a nice company either, they never considered Linux a primary enemy.


Could it be that, because until recently they weren't selling operating systems? Just guessing...

Reply Score: 2

sithlord2 Member since:
2009-04-02

Do you share the same opinion about Amazon Cloud instances?

Reply Score: 1

DarrkAssassin Member since:
2010-04-10

Microsoft wants YOU to pay THEM for the privilege of running a Linux distribution of THEIR choice in a virtual machine, by the hour? Uhhh... sorry, Microsoft, but f*** no.


You realize that this is the same thing Amazon's EC2 does. Its cloud computing my friend but because MSFT does it its the worst thing that could possibly happen.

Reply Score: 1

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

This is what pisses me off about people like you.

Microsoft Offers a product ... they get feedback saying they want Linux support.

And you have a little raeg cry over it, after they offer it.

Oh well if one can't recognise the strengths of the competition you are always destined to fail.

Reply Score: 3

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Microsoft wants YOU to pay THEM for the privilege of running a Linux distribution of THEIR choice in a virtual machine, by the hour? Uhhh... sorry, Microsoft, but f*** no.

Ah yes, surely it can't be that other people, companies were demanding from Microsoft to offer certain services, are willing to pay for them - so Microsoft obliges, listens to what their customers want.

That just wouldn't fir with your bubble of a world view...

Edited 2012-06-15 00:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

rklrkl
Member since:
2005-07-06

Last year, I started renting a VPS in the US for $5 a month and am still paying it regularly via auto-Paypal:

1GB RAM
Quad Core CPU
30GB disk space
64-bit CentOS 6
Huge bandwidth per month (1500 TB or something mad)
Full root access
Can install and run anything that's legal

Tell me how the Microsoft Azure setup beats that in any way, especially at $5 a month? Hourly pay as you go - what the freak?!

Reply Score: 6

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Allows rapid scaling up or down of services. Its more cost efficient. Good for services with varying degrees of load.

Reply Score: 3

vaette Member since:
2008-08-09

Azure is reasonably competitive with Amazons services, which is really the competition here. For small stuff nothing beats a simple VPS for flexibility, but there is more to these things.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Quad Core CPU


On a VPS you don't get a Quad Core CPU to yourself, you share it with the other VPS' on the same machine.

Tell me how the Microsoft Azure setup beats that in any way

It doesn't, you can get exactly the same thing on Azure.
The pricing is different though.

Reply Score: 3

mgarba Member since:
2011-04-23

Who is your VPS hosting provider? That's cheap!

Reply Score: 2

Modafinil Member since:
2012-04-28

Last year, I started renting a VPS in the US for $5 a month and am still paying it regularly via auto-Paypal:

1GB RAM
Quad Core CPU
30GB disk space
64-bit CentOS 6
Huge bandwidth per month (1500 TB or something mad)
Full root access
Can install and run anything that's legal


That's a fantastic deal, please could you give me the URL for the provider as I'm currently looking for the a VPS myself.

Best I've found so far is this http://www.minivps.co.uk/openvzvps.php but your deal blows that out of the water!

Reply Score: 2

backdoc Member since:
2006-01-14

Where? That sounds like a good deal to me.

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I've had bad experiences with those "cheap" VPS providers. They claim you are guaranteed to share the same box with at most 10 users, but it turns out there are often 50 or more, and every one of them has turned their share into a torrent seedbox or ad-farming setup. Contacting support was a dead end, they just offered to wipe and reinstall my instance to fix "software issues" I wasn't actually having.

I was better off running a P4 with 1GB of RAM and a PATA drive from my home connection for free.

Reply Score: 3

Good 'ole Microsoft.
by znby on Thu 7th Jun 2012 09:25 UTC
znby
Member since:
2012-02-03

Embrace, Extend and... eh... what was the last E again?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Good 'ole Microsoft.
by Nelson on Thu 7th Jun 2012 12:09 UTC in reply to "Good 'ole Microsoft."
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Exit these comments.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good 'ole Microsoft.
by tuma324 on Thu 7th Jun 2012 18:00 UTC in reply to "Good 'ole Microsoft."
tuma324 Member since:
2010-04-09

Extinguish.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Good 'ole Microsoft.
by lucas_maximus on Thu 7th Jun 2012 19:37 UTC in reply to "Good 'ole Microsoft."
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

The last E was ... "I still feel violated about shit about what happened 20 years ago"

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good 'ole Microsoft.
by UltraZelda64 on Fri 8th Jun 2012 07:04 UTC in reply to "Good 'ole Microsoft."
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Exterminate... eradicate... eliminate... or the official extinguish... take your pick.

And that's just the E-words...

Ironically, being GPL software, if they extend anything in the distributions... they can't legally get away without distributing all changes to the source code. Of course... Microsoft being who they are... I wouldn't put it past them to slyly break a few more laws, and once again get away with it.

Edited 2012-06-08 07:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Good 'ole Microsoft.
by Nelson on Fri 8th Jun 2012 09:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Good 'ole Microsoft."
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Your fanaticism really has no end.

Reply Score: 3