Martin Taylor recently marked his one-year anniversary as Microsoft Corp.’s chief Linux strategist. Taylor, whose official title is general manager of platform strategy, recently spoke with Computerworld about his first year in that job. This is Part 1 of that interview.
Q&A: Microsoft’s Linux strategist Martin Taylor
2004-09-17 Microsoft 27 Comments
Come on dude, Microsoft is a company, and they’re trying to sell a product. Do you really think representatves from Red Hat, Novell or any other company are more honest then MS’?
Damnit, even the local bakery lies. “Best bread in the world.” Yeah right.
>Come on dude, Microsoft is a company, and they’re trying to sell a product. Do you really think representatves from Red Hat, Novell or any other company are more honest then MS’?
>Damnit, even the local bakery lies. “Best bread in the world.” Yeah right.
Where have you been the last 20 years?
But this time they are in trouble because the penguin is not touchable.
Well we are a money driven society, and yes Microsoft did use some strong arm tactics to get to where they are but so did many other companies over the years, Intel did it with motherboard manufactures when AMD was starting to make better processors. Also some car manufacturers were doing the same.
Red Hat finally adopted some traditional American business values and now they are finally a company to deal with Suse had to do the same with Novell. It is all about the money.
“Well we are a money driven society”
This is most true of the USA. Not all other countries put money above everything.
All capitalist economies do. And communist economies too. On a personal level, it might be different, but on economical level, all capitalist conomies are the same.
thank for your comment but could we say not all **people** are money driven…. being as I live in USA, so I and others could be included. Being money driven brings out the worst in people weither it MS or Red Hat or whomever.
just my opinion thanks
The guy is a smooth politician, for sure. Totally spins the conversation around to tell the story he has prepared. “It’s not about Windows vs. Linux, it’s about Unix vs. Linux” Um, OK. Why are you speaking then?
And I’m sure the one thing potential customers need to know about Microsoft is what is their indemnification policy. That was just another poke at Linux, to answer a question not asked.
Uh, we know Microsoft has deep pockets; so when they steal IP they get away with it. Not really the issue for customers. How about, “Specifically how will Microsoft stand behind their products? Will your company reimburse us for downtime incurred when the computer crashes due to flaws in the operating system; or when it is hammered by spyware, viruses, and worms due to security holes?”
Microsoft gives imdemmification? BS, SQL Server has issues to this day, but nobody has sued. And when Eolas was winning the suit, what did Microsoft want to do? Well they wanted to changed the Internet from their perspective. Is that imdemmification? I THINK NOT…
What gets me about these closed source companies is that they pride themselves on how they have a team that writes patches, software, and stands behind their products! BS! How many viruses and worms have brought machines to a halt. Did any of these closed source companies stand and say, “Hey you know we are sorry, and here is some money we will give back to apologize”.
You do have somewhat of a point. Yes, I conceed your example as very common practice, and I can live with that. I mean, who else is going to toot your horn, right?
But what I meant was if you read the studies, which have been torn apart as far as they can, or at least what has been released for review, you will know they are cleverly false and misleading.
Mr. Taylor has backed up everything in those reports with his credibility. He accepted the job, MS put him up in the spotlight to lie, and now everyone sees his lie and knows he’s a lyer.
I feel bad for you Mr. Taylor (if he happens to read this, which I highly doubt), you accepted a paycheck for your dignity. I hope it was worth it.
MS, Red Hat, Novell/Suse, IBM… there’s no difference between them. IBM is one of the worst companies out there, and using Linux with anything from IBM is more expensive then MS with whatever you want.
Using Debian is one thing, but anything related to IBM is just outrageously expensive.
The only company who actually is doing good stuff and have good policys is, like it or not, Sun Microsystems. They’re consistent, maybe expensive, and deliver the best stuff money can buy.
And when Microsoft pays the Analysts to get a verdict that Linux costs more… do they add the cost of those Analysis in Windows thus making it again cost more than Linux…
Sun Microsystems is bets IT company and they have best price model!
My recommendation for Microsoft is to base next Windows operating systems on Solaris kernel and build all software using 100% Java technology!!!
“It is all about the money.”
It really isn’t all about the money, if you ever written a business plan you know it’s not.
Sure above all business is about profit, but there are other aspects to most business. Such as being good citizens, having good business ethics, giving to charity, etc, etc …
P.S. Microsoft will never shift away to anyone elses kernel, please stop that nonesense.
P.P.S. The interview really wasn’t all that great.
Aparently capitalism isn’t really capitalism according to what most people here think it is. Look it up, it’s about individual rights (decentralized) and a free market economy. That sounds more like Linux than Microsoft. Microsoft is organized along the lines of a controlled economy, ie closed monopoly.
” And when Microsoft pays the Analysts to get a verdict that Linux costs more… do they add the cost of those Analysis in Windows thus making it again cost more than Linux…
wow… dude! ”
This is where I thinks its funny that Linux advocates make such a big deal that Microsoft paid for a study. Analysts need to make money. There are costs for equipment, staff and other things. I trust a Microsoft funded study more than I would trust one that was done free of charge. Because if someone is willing to do it for free there is a strong bias there.
Well we are a money driven society, and yes Microsoft did use some strong arm tactics to get to where they are but so did many other companies over the years
Yup, welcome to Corporate America, where we want government out of of business, and into people’s bedrooms .. that’s the American way, bay-bee!!
Re: Christian Gross
How many viruses and worms have brought machines to a halt. Did any of these closed source companies stand and say, “Hey you know we are sorry, and here is some money we will give back to apologize”.
No, they offered a patch, which people didn’t bother to install.
Sure above all business is about profit, but there are other aspects to most business. Such as being good citizens, having good business ethics, giving to charity, etc, etc …
Of course, you yourselves said it’s profit above all else. So when being good citizens and having good business ethics interferes with the profit motive, well .. you know the deal.
Aparently capitalism isn’t really capitalism according to what most people here think it is. Look it up, it’s about individual rights (decentralized) and a free market economy.
Actually, it’s about the rights of big business. When you de-regulate something and give corporations complete control, you are essentially taking away the rights of the individual. The people still have a choice in most cases, but will almost always do what The Corporation tells them to do. This is why Linux doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell on the desktop.
Microsoft is organized along the lines of a controlled economy, ie closed monopoly.
You proved my point exactly. If the government doesn’t excerise control, someone else will.
I think that capitalism is about small business, not big business, and it’s about decentralization…and ofcourse it’s about liberty, in fact, capitalism is a derivative of liberty, not the other way around.
If there’s one thing that nobody should forget, that is, that in a communist system, there’s a lot of lies, a hell of a lot of lies. Don’t you remember the cold war? I do.
and let me tell you something. There’s a presence out there that helps smaller business like SUSE, RH, etc succeed with Linux, but that presence doesn’t get too involved, it only helps these smaller companies succeed, that presence is IBM, and as far as the future of capitalism is concerned…IBM is God.
Wow what a big zealot (ahem…loser) you are. How can you interpret something so wrongly? I guess you are one of those see no evil, hear no evil Linux monkey army. The only evil you see is Microsoft. Come on dude, be honest to yourself. Open your eyes. The statement from the Microsoft guy was right on spot, if you cared to read the whole article. He said people are not moving away from Windows, infact its Unix who is sustaining injuries. People who wants to now move from expensive Unix solutions, ask hey shall we go Linux way or Windows way and thats exactly what is happening. Any study on Market share will prove this.
I liked this guy from Microsoft, he was quite honest about accepting the fact that Novell can be a big competitor because they have an end to end solution for the customers. I don’t think he did any politician stuff instead i feel he has well analyzed the whole scenario and he analyzed who is a threat to Microsoft and how customers views are changing.
I personally feel Linux is no more a blindly pick solution anymore and corporation are thinking twice before switching to Linux as they would do for windows.
Yes, linux is gaining market share against other *nixes.
Yes, ONE of Microsoft’s strategies is to try and win those contracts over Linux.
Yes, Microsoft *IS* losing market growth to Linux. Particularly in developing countries.
Yes, Microsoft *IS* losing existing contracts to Linux. Look at the governments that have chosen Linux. Look at the schools, especially the Universities.
“It’s not about Windows vs. Linux, it’s about Unix vs. Linux” Um, OK. Why are you speaking then?
That’s what it was mostly in the 90’s. A new group arised in the late 90’s; the group concerned with “Windows vs. Linux”. Welcome to 2004 Microsoft. And, Microsoft does agree since they’re on marketing rage against Linux, spread FUD, talked (in detail) about it in the Halloweens. They’re more and more getting into it these days.
There simply ain’t no ‘1 group’. Perhaps not even ‘2 groups’ (its not as if there’s only UNIX and Windows).
No more lies!!!!! No more, lets fix the problem.
“Damnit, even the local bakery lies. “Best bread in the world.” Yeah right.”
Er….we’re talking more about something like this:
A small bakery comes out with a really, really good cracker, and lets people have the recipe. One of the companies that decides to produce a variant of that recipe starts making money, so MibbleBisCo MegaGodzilla Co., Inc. (you know, a parody name….) announces that *their* version of that particular cracker will be available for free, at any store, forever. The little bakery, which had intended to make money on some other nice products, goes out of business.
Then, NibbleBiscCo lies and lies through their teeth about never indending to harm the little bakery. Then, maybe 8 or nine years later, a whole bunch of people start producing even better bakery products, and making them available *outside* NibbleBisCo’s control.
So, after that, NibbleBisCo’s owner starts branding the other bakery companies as “commies” and insinuating they stole *his* recipe (without actually saying so,) so, because of his big mouth, people start buying their crackers from somebody else.
So, what do you think his new PR person is going to do when he goes around to the grocery stores?
I find your little analogy to be an interesting one. in your analogy, we have MegaGodzilla Co putting the little bakery out of business by giving away its crackers for free.
Now, let’s look at the reverse of this. Say MegaGodzilla Co is charging for its crackers, and then you have a bunch of OpenSource bakeries opening up and offering their cheap immiation crackers for free, because they’re pissed that MegaGodzilla Co won’t give out the recipe for its crackers. But as the OpenSource bakeries get better at making crackers, what happens when people start flocking to the OpenSource bakery and puting the MegaGodzilla Co out of business? Isn’t this essentially the same thing, only the reverse of what you just described? I guess it’s ok to put somebody out of business by giving stuff away for free as long as you’re not the one on the receiving end.
In other words, your analogy is flawed
A zealot and a loser? Since I’m so zealous, what is it that you think I’m advocating? I don’t use Linux. I own a few Microsoft products. I advocate nothing to friends or co-workers. Let everyone use whatever they want.
I’m not happy with the unhealthy state of the computing industry. That’s my bias. I hope for the day to come again when one company can no longer undermine standards which affect all the people who don’t use that company’s products.
I did read the article skeptically, that’s true. I think with good reason. The man’s job title is Chief Linux Strategist. You think he was objective? How can you read past all the marketing-speak: indemnification, TCO, regression testing? Nice mock surprise, “Wow. We really stand behind our technology in a pretty aggressive way.”
Sorry, but I use Windows at work, and I know we are spending too much time patching the sorry thing. We have nearly weekly updates we each install individually on laptops. Not to mention security cards which have slowed our machines down to a crawl. All this because we are essentially running a child’s OS with Active X, media players, licenses out the ying-yang for apps we don’t even need.
Wouldn’t it make more sense for the majority of machines to just have a basic Linux installation with a few simple apps? All we really need is a word processor and a terminal emulator for connecting to equipment over a serial port. It couldn’t be any harder for us to deal with configuring Linux than it is for us to spend so much time downloading and installing patches.
My only experience with Linux so far is from a class my company sent me to last year. It was billed as a Unix class, but all the systems were Red Hat 9. Seemed easy enough to deal with.
Coming back to my office just made me realize what a waste of money and productivity the Windows systems had become. You know, I wasn’t advocating anything, but now I think I will install Linux on at least one system in my office.
But don’t worry. It won’t affect Microsoft’s market share, because it will be a free download.
Well Keath, unless you really leave the bias aside and look from a totally logical point of view then your views will change.
I have used 3 OS primarily. Solaris, Windows and Linux. Personally i love Linux as a development platform but i can’t really think of using it as my desktop. I have 3 computers at home including my laptop and on one i run linux for *some* of my programming work.
I tried using Linux for desktop but it just doesn’t feel that smooth like windows. I agree windows has problems with these updates but come on its not such a big deal. I always update before i go to sleep and its easy.
The features i like about windows using on desktop are:
1. Faster graphics and they really are quite faster than Linux
2. Best multi-media support, i know you can argue that its on Linux too but on my Linux box sound doesn’t work. I tried and made it work once and then i rebooted and it didn’t work. Now i won’t like to waste my time over n over to make sound work.
3. Tools support to name few: PE Explorer, Hex Workshop, Internet download manager, yahoo messenger (i dun like gaim), w32dasm, IDA Pro etc etc…These tools for me like are indespensable
I used to hate Windows earlier too but over the time i realized that it has a place in the world for it. With windows XP, my biggest beef of windows crashing is gone. There is excellent USB support in windows as well as wireless. 99% of the time whatever hardware i use, works on windows.
To summarize, Windows saves my time on the desktop and provides me with tools which are not available on linux. Same way Linux has tools wihch are not there on Windows though Cygwin fills that gap quite a lot. My question is why should i use Linux on desktop?
PS: i am a computer engineer so dun tell me about virus and blah blah, i know how to keep my computer secure so thats not a problem for me at all. You will need to secure which ever OS you use otherwise you know hackers are out there and they will get you in one way or the other.
Well, obviously you are only able to see the world from your own narrow experience. In a corporation, we are not allowed to just run our computers as we want.
We can’t just run automatic updates overnight. It’s necessary for the IT department to control what and when we install updates because they sometimes break compatibility with applications we depend on.
You are asking me why you should use Linux? I don’t care what you use. I’m not advocating anything except that Microsoft be controlled from subverting the standards that allow everyone else to function.
Now I will ask you why the U.S. government, or any corporation, should be required to spend multi-millions of taxpayer dollars to overstuff computers with a bunch of licenses they don’t need. Why shouldn’t Linux be allowed? Why should government internet sites require ActiveX, when the internet was by design supposed to be platform-agnostic, and working standards exist that provide the same functionality.
Microsoft isn’t innocent in this. Don’t be naive. This happened, and what is happening, by design. They stopped developiing IE because the mission was accomplished. They had over 90% of the browser market. Netscape was destroyed. They aren’t implementing CSS. Why should they bother. People think a web site is well designed when it can be displayed using the Microsoft product.
Meanwhile, they pursue .Net, Indigo, etc; which will tie web applications directly to Windows. I’m not fearful. Just observant. Why do you think you are being objective and I’m not?
The Demise of Microsoft
In the long saga of the battle between the world and its detested adversary,
the Microsoft corporation, everybody is dying to see how the movie end.
Everybody also knows that in the movie the antagonist always dies at the end,
but the question is how? To most who detest Microsoft vehemently they would
like to see a quick and horrid death and those who detest even more so would
only find a sadistic pleasure in seeing nothing less than having Microsoft being
slowly skinned alive on a burning stake.
An IT Fairy Tale
Once upon the time, there was a computer software company named Microsoft,
whose craftiness in marketing made it become one of the most popular software company
on the planet. However, once that company attained its dominant position
in the marketplace, greed and fear filled the unsettled soul of Microsoft.
The company then aggressively pursued and eliminated almost all of its contenders,
names that once were legends one by one fell to Microsoft’s sword, WordPerfect,
Borland, Novell, Netscape, Corel and more. Soon, people saw Microsoft for what
it was, a cunning roguish company that had no conscience to stop itself doing whatever
it needs to achieve its ambitions. All the other software companies
realized that there will be no end to Microsoft’s unquenchable thirst for power but
none dared to challenge Microsoft until one day a young knight developed an operating
system called Linux. Linux came with a license called Open Source, which represented
to all the other companies a platform from which they can rally together in a
silent treaty to overthrow the software tyrant. One day, Microsoft woke up
and saw a huge army amassed upon the hills, companies that once were shot, wounded,
cheated and humiliated now all carry the same banner, the flag of Linux. Amongst
the valiant warriors, were IBM, Novell, Sun, Oracle, Sony, Fujitsu, Red Hat and CA and
amongst the catapults and shields they used were forged from the power of Open Source,
Apache, OpenOffice, Mozilla, PosgreSQL, MySql, Python, PHP, Samba and much
more. What Microsoft saw shook its heart, however its power to control the market
is still immense and with 56 billion dollars in the vault, its going to put up a very
good fight. This is the year 2004 and the battle has just begun.
The Crystal Ball
So my young seer, you wish to see how this battle unfold? First, you have to understand
how unlike previous battles where the companies were easily and ruthlessly cut down
by Microsoft, this time the catapults and shields that the Allies formed from Open Source
were impenetrable, in fact, the more Microsoft attacked the slowly advancing catapults and shields,
the stronger the catapults and shields became. How can that be? The magic of Open Source.
All artifacts created from Open Source do not obey the laws of the jungle, first of all
artifacts are immortalized by having the source code freely distributed across the
earth, as Microsoft attacks one point more heads would sprout from different places.
Another power of Open Source is leverage, in the old times when a developer was to
write a software, he practically has to write most of the libraries himself/herself or
purchase or license expensive code sets from other companies like Microsoft. Nowadays,
these libraries are all available freely from Open Source, graphics libraries,
network libraries, XML libraries, parsers, compilers, were all there for all to share.
This is the leverage that hasn’t been available to developers before, now all the
Davids have slingshots.
Rebellion of the Serfs
Back to that same once ancient period, almost all developers lived under the direction and
command of Microsoft. Their blind obedience contributed immensely to
the growth of Microsoft. They created applications of all sorts of shapes
and sizes which made the Microsoft platform very popular. All these times
while they toiled away using the Microsoft platform, the power of the source
code were hidden from them. They used APIs that had features
hidden from them. They used document formats but were never able to tell how they
worked internally. Year after year, their frustrations grow as they realized
they were handicapped less they pose a threat to the Microsoft Empire. Their
enslavement however seemed perpetual until one day, prophets came and revealed
to them their true destiny. For the first time they saw that they did not
have kowtow to the greedy Empire, they themselves were their own source of
power and wealth and in alliance they inherit all the power and wealth that they create
amongst themselves, this was the freedom offered by Open Source. It didn’t take long
for the word to spread and soon all the brave developers started to work with only
Open Source tools. The Microsoft Empire eventually found that their tools like
Visual Studio and ASP were no longer so popular and that everybody were escaping
towards strange platforms and tools like Linux, OpenOffice, PHP, Python, wxWidgets, GTK and
In retaliation, the Empire started to fight against the source from which these tools seemed to
be coming from, the Open Source movement. To many of these brave developers, this is
going to be the final straw for Microsoft, to them every line of code they contribute to
Open Source is another brick they get to throw at Microsoft. This is the year
2004 and the rebellion of the serfs has also just started.
The Final Days
Like the wizard of OZ, Microsoft’s power comes from its illusion of its
overwhelming size and market dominance. In the final days of Microsoft
as it will be foretold from here, three horsemen of doom will declare the
the terminal fate of Microsoft. The first horseman with a sickle engraved
“Market Loss”, will strike at Microsoft mercilessly. In great fear and
horror Microsoft will find that all the slaves no longer buy its products as
there are better alternatives. All those nearby
will have to take shelter under rocks as Microsoft will reveal its demonic
form, it will sprout long-horns and spew forth vile lies about its enemies, and fight with every last
tooth and nail in the most enraged madness as one would expect from a demon.
The second horseman with arrows engraved “Profit Dive” carries a poison
that will eat away the flesh of Microsoft. The glorious billions of dollars raked
in every year will shrink to a shameful trickle, and losses will tally up
like mountains leaving a bleeding and shriveled shell that have no where to run.
The third horsemen will carry
a flaming sword that the mere sight will paralyze companies, engraved on it “Stock Plunge”
and he shall plunge it right into Microsoft’s heart and Microsoft will cry out so horribly
that markets all over the world will shake, Microsoft shareholders will
beat dust on their heads while throwing themselves off buildings.
The once overwhelming size and power of Microsoft will be no longer.
It will become like a small, feeble and detested rodent that everybody
will then have the privilege to spit on. And thus these shall be the prophecy
for the final days of Microsoft, but my brave warriors be prepared for the coming wars and
the final wars that have yet to arrive. This is the year 2004.