back to article Hadoop: A Linux even Microsoft likes

There was a time when Microsoft despised open source, because open source essentially meant "Linux," and Linux was a serious threat to Microsoft's operating system business. While that threat remains, open source has become such a big tent that Microsoft increasingly feels at home with a broad array of open-source projects. …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    MS wants to get involved with Open Source as they can tap into a large field of imaginative designers / programmers. If they see something they think is marketable, they will write their own proprietary version and include it in a future release of their own closed software then charge through the nose for it.


    1. Ian Yates
      Black Helicopters

      You mean, they're embracing open source?... I wonder what comes next....

      1. RegGuy


        I can't see them extending it -- stop! Wait a minute...

        I think I should extinguish this thought!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      So? What's wrong with that? FOSS has taken many ideas from commercial software and given it away.

      You can't have FOSS both ways, either it's free and open or it's closed and only a special group of favoured people are allowed to use it.

      I guess what I'm saying is that you can't give your work away for free and then complain that certain people you don't like are using your work for free.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Real FOSS is licensed under GPL

        so it's quite OK for others to use it even if you don't like it, because they will be forced to give it away for free even if they don't like it.

        Oh and by the way, ideas and mathematics are not patentable matter. Only the US lawmakers came with this stupid idea about the software patents where you can claim exclusivity on the idea of highlighting text on a screen or pressing a key in order to move from one graphic element to another on a display.

        1. Dr. Mouse

          RE: Real FOSS is licensed under GPL

          Actually, I don't quite agree.

          Real FOSS is Public Domain, where there are absolutely no restrictions on the use of the code, in part or in full. All rights are given up by the author.

          The probelm is that this gets exploited, which is why FOSS licenses sprang up. These are less Free and Open than public domain, but protect the wishes of the author to keep the software as Free and Open as possible. Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of the GPL and use it myself, but to be truely Free and Open, there must be no restrictions on use or distibution of the code. GPL is a good approximation of Free and Open.

          Only my 2p worth...

  2. billium

    1. embrace

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      2. Extend

      1. asdf

        Balmer sucks

        3. supposed to be extinguish but under Balmer the only being extinguished is shareholder value.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ha ha ha

    "There was a time when Microsoft despised open source, because open source essentially meant "Linux," and Linux was a serious threat to Microsoft's operating system business."

    Linux doesn't crash as much!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      i am actually not joking here but i agree, it doesnt crash for me because i cant even get it installed, doesnt like my as far as i can tell a it doesnt even get to the install screen, VM works fine but thats not what i wanted, and the support forums have been very helpful, apparently im "shit out of luck" and i "should just go back to windows" which i did

      That is my personal experience so downvote if you will but thats the fact of the matter, i wish it were different

      1. Xin Eoph

        To the coward:

        since when does your one brush with Linux define how the entire os works for everyone? I've installed it successfully on all my computers without problems. And no, no crashes so far.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          It doesnt, but this is the battle Linux has to overcome, as a VM it works fine, but i cant get it working as a stand alone on THIS computer, if Linux wants to be taken seriously on the desktop for the masses than it needs to get rid of the Elite status it holds, ive never not been able to install Windows in a range on computers dating back decades in fact i have even had Win 7 running on an old PII, if there is a problem its usually very simple to fix failing that the support groups out there will help

          Also its not one brush, i try almost every year with different versions to the same effect, tried alsorts, yanking hardware, changing BIOS settings in every possible combo i can think of, it just doesnt like something or more likely a combo of somethings, but thats not my point, the point is Linux users are at least in part responsible for it not becoming more mainstream because of the attitude a large number ( not saying all!) of users have on the support pages.

      2. zanto

        damn my ability to spot a troll!

        Takes the fun out of getting in a flame war.

        Installed linux on so many computers ranging from cheap acers to t-series thinkpads, from 486's to i5's, and all i can say is that it always was easier to install than windows.

        1. asdf

          not quite

          >it always was easier to install than windows

          true for last decade but circa 1996 getting Xwindows working (config file hell) and dial up to work was at least a weekend project.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC 22:43GMT - Come on, we know you're joking

        The only way not to get to an install screen in Linux is to have your computer powered off.

        No offense but did you check the power cord ?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @ AC 16th October 2011 01:44 GMT

          ill take that as a wee joke

          I kid you not, it would POST, load off the media (tried USB and disks) come up with an initial options screen then bomb, not a restart, screen stays active just blank Ctrl Alt Del or reset only way out.

          I fully admit that my level of knowledge in linux is limited compared to Windows, but ive yet to have an issue where i revieved no error message at all on Windows,

          The only thing that has been common is the moby, but thats going to be replaced soon so we shall see.

          the funny thing is ive got OSX running on this system as well as win7 but no matter what i try it will not install various different versions of linux, its VM only, but anyhow thanks for not bombing me with downvotes i genuinly would liked for it to work!

          1. TimeMaster T


            Have you encountered the same problem just booting the systems off a LiveCD like Knoppix?

            You might want to try booting a non-GUI LiveCD, I would recommend RIPLinux, its small and boots to a command line. After you get to that point you can start the X server and get a GUI.

            I've had systems throw Kernel panics during bootup, usually due to some weird video or bridge chipset, and being able to see the bootup screens instead of a splash screen is very useful.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @TimeMaster T

              The live CD has the same effect but ill try that command line option you suggested, it might at the very least give a me a small clue whats going on!

              As i said the moby is getting replaced soon but i dont like leaving problems i cant fix or understand, its very frustrating!

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              oh an thanks for your help!

              Much appreciated

    2. Nightkiller

      But still puts on a great race.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Linux being more stable than Windows may have used to be true (and by may, I mean was.) it's really not the case these days.

      As a caveat, I would say, this is presuming an equal level of skill in the person setting up Linux and Windows systems and an equal level of skill in operating them.

  4. eulampios

    oops they did again...

    Nice article

    Microsoft has been wrong, who would ever doubt it? Nevertheless, Microsoft is still very well stifling the FOSS, competition, competence and common sense.

    >>its contribution of Linux drivers

    A microscopic drop in the drivers' ocean. This contribution pertains only M$' own virtual machine implementation. I turned it off (and not only because it did not compile for me.)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Beware of Trojans bearing gifts

    From a long list of past experiences, Microsoft doesn't adopt somebody else's product unless they believe that they have a way to extend and extinguish it.

  6. Keep Refrigerated

    Stage 1: Embrace...

    That is all.

  7. Dave 142

    "Linux was a serious threat to Microsoft's operating system business"

    When exactly was that?

    1. Daniel B.

      Server Side.

      It might not be really visible on desktop PCs, but Linux has taken over what could've been a juicy server market for MS. It is a threat to existing Windows Servers, especially when there are OSS stacks that are capable of serving as a drop-in substitute for Active Directory.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I agree that MS have lost some of their server market to Linux, but far more of the UNIX market has been lost to Linux. Indeed, many large companies are currently looking to get rid of most of their proprietary RISC based UNIX and replace it with Linux on standard Intel hardware and/or on Z. However, they are keeping their Windows infrastructure.

        What are the alternatives to AD? All companies I have ever worked for use MS AD (and formerly the NT 3.X / 4 directory) and these include some very large UNIX shops with thousands of UNIX servers. In most of these companies the UNIX logons are actually authenticated by AD either directly or by proxies.

        1. Dr. Mouse

          RE: What are the alternatives to AD?

          Actually, there are several, but none are as easy for a mainly-Windows userbase.

          In an environment which was not prodominantly Linux, I would not consider using an alternative. The alternatives are just not as good, in terms of ease of use and functionality, when used in a Windows environment.

          I am, however, about to start evaluating Samba 4. I know it's only Alpha at the moment, but it should be a viable alternative once it is finished. However, this is only AD on Linux. The problem is, if you don't use MS's proprietary systems on Windows, you run into the sort of configuration Hell you used to get on Linux back-in-the-day, which just isn't worth the man-hours.

          Run a pure Linux/Unix environment (or only a small number of Windows machines), and there are much better alternatives.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Dave142 - It's Microsoft who said that

      on several occasions in their SEC filings and this is serious legal and regulatory stuff if you happen to ask.

  8. Arnold Lieberman

    It's called "progress"

    No-one would be forced to buy the M$ alternative, in the same way that no-one has to buy IBM or use Oracle.

  9. Mikel

    Say it with me now...


  10. PyLETS

    historical inaccuracy

    "There was a time that open source lagged proprietary software in just about every way, from quality to UIs to documentation."

    That's not the way I remember it. BSD Unix, which provided the development platform for much of the early Internet was open source. As were the X Windows GUI implementations, commercial versions of which such as SunOS and Apollo Domain I started using in 1986. Steve Jobs' early Apple Macintosh system was based on X Windows, see: .

    Many people are unaware of these machines largely based on these open source programs, costing 10 to 20 times the price of the early Macs and PCs, with more powerful CPUs, more RAM and disk, better displays and software, and which were made in much smaller quantities, typically used for high end CAD/CAM design workstations.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't worry if your recollections don't tally with Matt's assertions: it's just his knees showing from posing in his historical short pants.

    2. Microphage

      re: historical inaccurate

      @PyLETS: "That's not the way I remember it".

      Never mind, just keep repeating it over and over again until people believe it. It's not as if the techno journalists would even verify their facts before typing it in again.

  11. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    I can complain if I want...

    "I guess what I'm saying is that you can't give your work away for free and then complain that certain people you don't like are using your work for free."

    Sure I can. I mean, I won't try to STOP them from using it but I'm allowed to bitch about it all I want 8-) . The simple fact of the matter is, as people are alluding too, "Embrace, extend, extinguish" is standard Microsoft operating procedure, and it's just as likely that Microsoft will try to slow down the Hadoop development process, or place limits on the direction it can go in the future (if it doesn't directly support running Microsoft's products on it), or so on, until they come up with a proprietary replacement... as it is that they genuinely want to develop it as it stands. It IS possible this is the plan, to actually help Hadoop development, but they've indicated in the past numerous times in the past they are serious this time when they aren't.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You can bitch about it in the same way that people who don't vote can bitch at the government.

      As for Embrace, Extend, Extinguish, I don't think that this has been the Microsoft way for a long time now. As for them trying to stop or hold back Hadoop, can we wait to see if they do before bitching about it? After all they do have a vested interest in Hadoop in that they offer it in their cloud services.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC 01:46GMT Don't be naive!

        Just have a look at the exhibits in Comes vs. Microsoft (just don't use Bing to look for them) and you'll see Microsoft never changed

  12. Steve Loughran

    Hadoop != Linux

    Maybe it's just the title but likening Hadoop to Linux is daft. Linux: OS. Hadoop: Java based data mining platform.

    MS adopting is one of recognising that it is the de-facto standard for datamining outside of Google, and if they didn't want to lose the server sales *and all the developers* they'd better support it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Steve L. - And I would even add

      Linux is GPL (way much more difficult to extinguish) and Hadoop is Apache License so I'm puzzled too at Mr. Asay's comparison .

      Just to jet you know one of the up votes is mine.

  13. Joe Burmeister


    Embrace is protected against by copyleft. I see Apple and Sun as exactly the kind of "tragedy of the commons" copyleft is protection against. But Hadoop is Apache. Microsoft can Extend Hapoop and not share. With their history I don't trust not to try and do an Apple/Sun. Give some, but take more.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Joe B. - Copyleft protects agains extinguish

      but allows embrace and/or extend. That's why Microsoft is so shy about contributing GPL code.

      OK, they did it once because they were caught infringing on it so they had no choice.

  14. Anonymous Coward


    Really? I mean, really? Is there some Wheel Of Infantile Names that tech companies use to brand themselves / their products? Was there an industry-wide agreement to name social sites by using *er words and cuttin the last 'e'?

    I was in a discussion about this on IRC (which if made now would presumably be named something like 'Bloomr' or 'Gevoo') where I posited a set of rules to generate stupid business names.

    The two most hideous ones I could come up with were actual startups - complete with pale blue layouts, 'beta' tags, and a row of icons for facebook, twitter, digg, etc etc.

    First, real business names all change names that everyone knows to nearly identical '...ent' brands, and then new businesses start using nonsense letter combinations that would be laughed off children's placemat.

    Note: I just checked he two example nonsense names I wrote above. Bloomr, thankfully, is free (though it -is- the handle on someone's startupnation profile), but you'll have to drop any plans to use Gevoo. It seems to be a project on google code.

    Maybe I should start a consultancy...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "in most of these companies the UNIX logons are actually authenticated by AD either directly or by proxies."

    I would guess (based on a few years of history) that this is mostly because the certified Microsoft dependent IT departments think that allowing any thing non Windows to even have an IP address is a security risk, and to have a non-Windows box trusted to handle authentication is simply unthinkable.

    Kerberos (etc)? That's sooo last century.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      We're talking about big UNIX houses here (with Mainframe and mini), who also have Windows servers and Windows workstations, so the suggestion that the Windows department is able to control what goes on the network doesn't really hold water. Any company of this size has a separate department who deals with it/network security, in order that you don't end up with OS zealots pretending that their favoured system is more or less secure than it actually is.

  16. T J

    Shouldn't it be.....

    A Linux that tolerates the continuing (tenuous) existence of MS?........for now........?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hadoop is not the only fruit

    In addition to Hadoop, MS have their own approach to big data: Dryad. Language support comes in the form of DryadLINQ (aka LINQ to HPC). It looks good.

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