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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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 Parent Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I think the distinction between Azure and Google's internal use of GNU/Linux is that with the former it is possible to run an instanced OS, which while hosted on Microsoft's servers is still fully at your disposal. I suppose the letter of the GPL is that Microsoft should only have to publish changes if they provide binaries for mass consumption, but I'd say that allowing one to install, set up and use a modified, instanced OS is doing just that. All of that is, of course, assuming Microsoft did have to change any GPL'ed software, which is still unknown.

With Google, they are using the OS completely internally (not counting Android, since I don't think that lies within the scope of what we are discussing). I would also expect Google to release any code changes if they started shipping modified binaries of their internal systems. Though, now that I think about it, there is the Chrome OS; I believe the source is available for that though.

And just to be clear, I'm not looking at it from a "fan" standpoint at all. I do care about open source software in general, and anything that positively impacts it is fine with me. But I'm no more or less a fan of Linux than I am of Windows or OS X. In fact, I'd say the only desktop OSes I truly am a flag waving, card carrying fan of are BeOS/Haiku and QNX Neutrino.

Reply Parent Score: 0

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

It's a full instance of an OS but you still only have access through an interface. The GPL would have to be modified to make interface access count as a form distribution. The current form fully allows it.

Reply Parent Score: 2