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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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.

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