Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 21st Sep 2015 22:23 UTC
Linux

Late last week, hell had apparently frozen over with the news that Microsoft had developed a Linux distribution of its own. The work was done as part of the company's Azure cloud platform, which uses Linux-based network switches as part of its software-defined networking infrastructure.

While the software is real, Microsoft isn't characterizing it as a Linux distribution, telling us that it's an internal project. That's an important distinction, and we suspect that we're not going to see a Microsoft Linux any time soon.

Microsoft BeOS, and the world will be just.

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Comment by techweenie1
by techweenie1 on Tue 22nd Sep 2015 00:54 UTC
techweenie1
Member since:
2008-10-15

Microsoft Spying Not included?

Reply Score: 2

Microsoft and Linux
by paulstan on Tue 22nd Sep 2015 04:51 UTC
paulstan
Member since:
2015-09-22

A Linux based switch is interesting, but far more notable is MS support of Docker. Docker is a standard API (supported by AWS, Google, and Red Hat) for packaging apps in containers. MS is delivering support for Docker in Server 2016, and this will open the door to people building combined Windows + Linux clouds based on Docker (Linux) tools/infrastructure. This is a big deal, and the upshot is that MS is taking significant steps to interoperate with the growing Linux community. A startup has also announced Docker support for Server 2012, which you can check out at http://www.windocks.com

Reply Score: 1

RE: Microsoft and Linux
by Lennie on Tue 22nd Sep 2015 08:59 UTC in reply to "Microsoft and Linux"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I think what Microsoft is doing with the Linux on swtiches is the same model as these guys:

http://cumulusnetworks.com/cumulus-linux/overview/#cl-architecture

But they are doing it as part of the compute project:
http://www.opencompute.org/projects/networking/

Because Microsoft contributed their 'Open CloudServer':
http://www.opencompute.org/wiki/Server/SpecsAndDesigns

Also Microsoft will be shipping SSH in their next server release ?:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/powershell/archive/2015/06/03/looking-forwa...

And they send OpenBSD project some money:
http://undeadly.org/cgi?action=article&sid=20150708134520

Yes, Microsoft is adding/added container support to Windows (Server only ?). But just like Linux the Linux container support isn't tied to Docker specifically. But they are working with the Docker developers to add support for Windows Server.

What I wonder is:
1. will they add containers to the desktop
2. have they given up on Windows Phone yet and will they ?

Edited 2015-09-22 09:15 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Microsoft and Linux
by Vanders on Tue 22nd Sep 2015 10:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft and Linux"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

I think what Microsoft is doing with the Linux on swtiches is the same model as these guys:

http://cumulusnetworks.com/cumulus-linux/overview/#cl-architecture

Disclaimer: I'm a contractor for those guys!

What Microsoft are doing is not a million miles away, in simple terms. They've got Linux with OCP SAI & the various SAI ASIC drivers from the SDK's provided by the silicon vendors (Broadcom, Mellanox etc.). What Microsoft are doing is similar to Googles approach with their Firehose/Saturn/Jupiter platform.

Cumulus is a little more slick in the way it's designed but it runs on similar hardware, and you can buy Cumulus Linux for your own whitebox switches if you like.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Microsoft and Linux
by Lennie on Tue 22nd Sep 2015 11:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Microsoft and Linux"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Maybe I wasn't clear about what Cumulus Networks is doing, but I am aware about what they are doing. :-)

Maybe to make it more clear for others reading this:

- buy a switch from any of multiple vendors with the same ASICs (or a select number of ASICs types)
- buy a piece of software to run on the switch that supports the hardware (in case of Cumulus Networks it's a full blown Linux system).

It's similar how you buy a PC (or maybe mobile device) and install the (operating system) software of your choice.

In case of Google and the Open Compute project (which includes companies like Facebook and Microsoft).

They don't buy a switch, they have a company create a switch design around some chipset (ASICs).

It's like creating your own mainboard and then desiging your own computer (for example server) around it.

Which is exactly what the companies at the Open Compute Project also do.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Microsoft and Linux
by chithanh on Tue 22nd Sep 2015 10:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft and Linux"
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

2. have they given up on Windows Phone yet and will they ?


They will continue to support running Windows on Phones for the time being.

But app support is on a bleak trajectory.

Microsoft went from "Windows exclusive"
to "First and best on Windows"
to "Windows eventually"
to "Maybe on Windows in the future"

for their own productivity apps.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Microsoft and Linux
by Lennie on Tue 22nd Sep 2015 11:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Microsoft and Linux"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Let's make this a bit more concrete:

Is Microsoft/Nokia going to ship a Microsoft Android.

Possibly with a Windows Phone-like interface...?

Edited 2015-09-22 11:27 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Microsoft and Linux
by chithanh on Tue 22nd Sep 2015 16:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Microsoft and Linux"
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

They have little reason to.

Nadella wants to shut down, not expand, the loss making units, and the Lumia unit is making losses.
The Surface unit had 1 successful device after 5 failed attempts.

It is much easier and cheaper to strong-arm Android vendors into preinstalling Microsoft apps using patent threats.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Microsoft and Linux
by paulstan on Tue 22nd Sep 2015 18:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft and Linux"
paulstan Member since:
2015-09-22

From discussions with people who would know, I'd say the odds of MSFT adding container support to any of the desktop versions is near zero. It's a big project on Windows Server.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Microsoft and Linux
by avgalen on Wed 23rd Sep 2015 13:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft and Linux"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

What I wonder is:
1. will they add containers to the desktop
2. have they given up on Windows Phone yet and will they ?

Wow, talk about off-topic and very off-topic. But okay:
1. Very unlikely. Containers are an enterprise/cloud play for Microsoft so it will only come to Server variations. However, things like Internet Information Server, BitLocker and Hyper-V have eventually come from Server to Desktop, so maybe it will eventually become available in the Enterprise version
2. No, they are actually about to release Windows 10 Mobile and some new phones and Continuum Docks in the next few months (hardware event in 2 weeks). Their whole play is "1 Windows" and "Universal Apps". At the moment the Insider Preview (public beta) of Windows 10 Mobile is finally usable, but still very buggy/rough/unfinished even more than Windows 10 was a month before release. This release needs some more time, hard work, and love/polish.
It does seems that Microsoft pushed Windows 10 to users earlier than originally planned and moved many people from the Mobile team to the Desktop team. Those people should have been moved back, but with all the updates that the Desktop is receiving they seem to be used there more than planned.
Microsoft (and Nadella) have stated they are going to focus on 3 markets. If I remember correctly they were emerging (read <<< 100 dollar), business (read management features and software and continuum but simple cameras) and enthousiasts (950/950XL). There are also rumors about a Surface Phone (read platform demo/reference device)

Reply Score: 2

Microsoft and Linux
by hussam on Tue 22nd Sep 2015 16:31 UTC
hussam
Member since:
2006-08-17

As someone who has been using Linux since the 90s, I can understand how sensitive people are to such things.
People may feel that Microsoft making a Linux distribution undermines the efforts companies such as Red Had put into different Linux stacks.
And Microsoft in the age of Ballmer wasn't exactly Linux friendly.
However, Microsoft does have the manpower to contribute to Linux.
While I would not voluntarily touch Windows, I wouldn't mind seeing a Microsoft Linux distribution all parts of it are completely free and licensed under GPL/LGPL. Any Microsoft code has to be entirely free and correctly licensed otherwise this would not work.

(yes, I know Microsoft wouldn't make a Linux distribution.)

Edited 2015-09-22 16:33 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Microsoft and Linux
by chithanh on Tue 22nd Sep 2015 16:49 UTC in reply to "Microsoft and Linux"
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

I wouldn't mind seeing a Microsoft Linux distribution all parts of it are completely free and licensed under GPL/LGPL.


Nobody can honestly be expecting that. Even most "normal" distros like Ubuntu contain (or nag the user to install) proprietary parts.

If you want a completely free distro, there are only the fringe distros from the FSF like Trisquel or gNewSense.

Reply Score: 2

Xenux
by Mikaku on Wed 23rd Sep 2015 15:31 UTC
Mikaku
Member since:
2007-05-03

Don't tell me!, they will call it Xenux.
;-)

Reply Score: 1