back to article Microsoft lures top Linux exec from Oracle to Redmond

Larry Ellison will be throwing his boats out of the bathtub on the news that Wim Coekaerts, possibly Oracle's top Linux guy, has jumped ship to Microsoft. "Wim Coekaerts has joined Microsoft as Corp VP of Open Source in our Enterprise Cloud Group," Mike Neil, VP for enterprise cloud at Microsoft, told El Reg. "As we continue …

  1. Lars Silver badge
    Linux

    Looks like Nadella actually has some power in that company, disturbing for some of us, but then again when and if you have to choose between intelligence and stupidity then perhaps intelligence is after all the better choice in the long run.

  2. JLV

    So, they gonna be mooching off Red Hat's codeline & patches at MS too?

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/12/oracle_launches_redpatch_repository/

  3. Gray
    Windows

    Wait for the divorce lawyer

    Cynical me ... first, there's the seduction: flowers, dinner for two, buckets of wine, footsie under the table; second the marriage and the rice and ribbons and celebration; third the long settling down to business, and finally: bitter disillusionment and divorce lawyers.

    1. Schlimnitz

      Re: Wait for the divorce lawyer

      Still seems to be working out ok for Anders

  4. energystar

    Not to forget...

    JAVA is the Cloud language now. Survival of its Core Tech is going to depend on a careful rethinking of its licensing terms.

    Clouds are relevant to Big Actors. Individuals' fights are at the other end of the thread.

  5. Doug 3

    They have hired top Linux people before

    Microsoft has hired top Linux people before and they have always ended up with jobs tuning marketing and/or in customers faces pushing them away from Linux and toward Windows.

    Since Windows is their cash cow and without it they vaporize, does anyone really think they are moving away from Windows because they hired Oracle's top Linux guy?

    SCO didn't work, calling it a cancer didn't work, Get the Facts didn't work either so maybe, just maybe they want new blood to try and come up with another way to stop the flow of customers to Linux and away from Windows. Just like they've done a number of times before.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: They have hired top Linux people before

      Doug,

      They've been trying to diversify away from Windows as the cash cow for a good while. Services seems to be the general idea & its true that they've been thrashing about with different ideas for that. One was Windows with Bing as a give-away to try to get people to use Bing. W10 as a free update to draw in users-as-a-product was another. But it looks like Azure is the main thing and as customers want to use Linux on Azure then they have to get into that irrespective of what's gone before. I think they've finally realised if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

      Nevertheless I'd still beware the gifts they bear.

      1. TVU

        Re: They have hired top Linux people before

        ^^^ This and I'd agree with you and Lars. Windows has lost out to Linux on business servers and on servers hosting internet websites so there was a choice for Satya Nadella - maintain Microsoft ideological purity and follow Dodo into extinction or be pragmatic, make money and survive and, being the intelligent pragmatist that he is, he has chosen the latter option. I have no doubt that all these recent and surprising changes have in part been influenced by his time at Sun Microsystems where he saw first hand what happens when a tech company fails to adapt to changing external circumstances.

        It must also be interesting to be a fly on the wall in the Ballmer household right now because there's probably a lot of effing and blinding going on.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: They have hired top Linux people before

          Agree, I think he realizes that the Ballmer era strategy of getting everyone everywhere to use Windows is not going to be effective. If people don't want to use Windows or are not using it now, there isn't much they can do to convince them.... Satya needs Linux to play across the board in every opportunity. He is probably less focused on dominating Linux than he is on what Linux can do for them elsewhere... e.g. putting a big dent in Oracle DB, the cloud land grab, making Hyper V the go to hypervisor, dev tools. It's not Linux for Linux sake. It is Linux for the other areas where it allows him to play which Ballmer more or less ignored.

        2. John Sanders
          Holmes

          Re: They have hired top Linux people before

          ""Maintain Microsoft ideological purity and follow Dodo into extinction or be pragmatic, make money and survive and, being the intelligent pragmatist that he is, he has chosen the latter option."""

          I do not think it has anything to do with that, it is more to do with the fact that lots and lots of people do not even consider using MS products, MS is losing enterprise mind-share fast (At the same pace Linux improves) and they know that once the market realises it can do without MS's extortion it is game over.

          MS is just trying "Destroy all penguins" version 3.1 nothing else.

          I will believe that anything has changed at MS when they release anything that matters to them as GPL and they stop suing everybody for patent money.

          Until then: IT's A TRAP!

          1. TVU

            Re: They have hired top Linux people before

            I don't recognise any of the “destroy all penguins” or “it's a trap” stuff because Linux has already won. Let me repeat that – Linux has already won...on enterprise and website servers and on supercomputers. There's even change in respect of home and business desktops where Windows used to have a 95%+ market share. In quite a number of Western OECD countries, that figure' s now lower than that and in some countries it's 70% Microsoft and 30% OS X, Linux, Chrome (chromebooks) and Android (netbooks).

            That Microsoft's Azure has no choice but to work with Linux to make it viable is a sign of Microsoft's weakness and Linux' market strength. Similarly, Microsoft realised that developers were moving to OS X and Linux machines to do their work and that Windows was becoming irrelevant hence the cooperation with Canonical. Yes, it might stop a few developers from moving over to Linux or OS X machines but what it has also done is brought a huge great Linux Trojan horse right into the very heart of Windows 10 so that anyone can now start to familiarise themselves with the Linux development environment. I'm calling that a big win for Linux and it's yet another sign of Microsoft's weakness.

            Although he's looked on as Linux' greatest enemy, Steve Ballmer during his 14 year tenure was, in a sense, Linux' best friend because his ineptitude and poor decision making, lack of foresight, botched investments, etc. have all meant a noticeably weakened Microsoft today. It's not the all powerful behemoth it once was and it's having to learn to live with, and accommodate, Linux and that approach will surely continue under the intelligent and pragmatic Satya Nadella.

            I'll end by quoting Linus Torvalds:

            “If Microsoft ever does applications for Linux it means I've won.”

            ^^^ That is now happening.

      2. JLV

        Re: They have hired top Linux people before

        Speaking of free and freedom, I wonder when MS will do away with the can't run Windows on a guest VM using the host PC's current Win license...

        I realize that there might be all sorts of server and revenue implications, to loosening up. But the end result is currently that you can't set up a quick VM to say surf disreputable websites using your current Win.

        Of course, you could set up a Ubuntu VM in a jiffy instead, but that's hardly a desirable outcome for MS, even in a world which is now seeing Bash on Windows.

        1. Hans 1

          Re: They have hired top Linux people before

          @ JLV

          >I wonder when MS will do away with the can't run Windows on a guest VM using the host PC's current Win license...

          Not everything in the EULA is legally enforceable everywhere, I know that according to my lawyer, this is not enforceable in Europe. As long, of course, as you do not have two installations of Windows running on the same box at the same time.

          You can even transfer, as in "sell", your Windows license ... provided, of course, you stop using it.

          MS knows this, so they baked the license into the firmware, forcing you to pay again for each new motherboard you use. For the moment, you can still contact MS Support and they will sort it out ... not sure how long they will do that.

          1. Hans 1

            Re: They have hired top Linux people before

            Damn, too late, here is the link:

            German court interpreting European Law:

            http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=124564&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=req&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=5213884

            See last two paragraphs - Oracle haters rejoice, they also lost this one !

    2. Arctic fox
      Windows

      @ Doug 3 Re: They have hired top Linux people before

      "Since Windows is their cash cow....."

      Actually Doug 3 it isn't. They rake in way more with Office and increasingly their cloud products than they do with their OS. Windows itself is of importance to them as a strategic product but not in any huge direct degree as a financial product - hence their "free" strategy (including the continuous upgrade badgering). Nadella appears to have realised that the only strategy as far as open source/Linux is concerned is to apply the old saw (as Dr Syntax points out) "if you can't beat them, join them". After all both Gates and Ballmer tried the "beat them" tactic and we all know how successful that was. Redmond's ambitions in the cloud are impossible to realise without a complete rethink of their former attitudes towards Linux specifically and open source in general. It would appear that "SatNat" may have taken this on board. Certainly if they do not then their ambitions with regard to "mobile and cloud" are, in the medium to long term, unrealisable and frankly speaking, risible.

      1. John Sanders
        Holmes

        Re: @ Doug 3 They have hired top Linux people before

        ""They rake in way more with Office and increasingly their cloud products than they do with their OS.""

        Yes because you know up until they decided to give Windows 10 for free a copy of Office could run without Windows... Also the enterprise version of Windows 10 is free... oh wait.

      2. Doug 3

        Re: @ Doug 3 They have hired top Linux people before

        I should have stated "Windows and Windows based products". I'm aware that they still have 9x% of the desktop market so they don't support any other client but the Windows OS clients. Then there is iOS and Android and they are taking baby steps in that direction. Some would call it half-arsed efforts.

        As for their support of Linux on Azure, it's a requirement their customers have and if they didn't support it their customers were be forced to go somewhere else. And they know, if forced to go away from Microsoft for just a little bit, light bulbs go on and soon those customers are going outside of Windows and Microsoft for lots more. I wouldn't doubt they'll be doing everything they can to track, monitor and instruct customers how how they use Linux on Azure.

        Funny though, how the Windows OS failure to be reliable forced companies to have so many hardware boxes that virtualization was a savior and then the cloud spun from that.

      3. Doug 3

        Re: @ Doug 3 They have hired top Linux people before

        Windows as a platform is their cash cow. They rake in a lot for MS Office yet they don't put MS Office on any other platform. I guess they have it on the cloud now and I'm sure it was no big deal when it was used on Android phones and tablets. But now that Google has Android apps on Chromebooks they have to be fuming it's enabling a competing platform to Windows.

        We see and hear so much about Linux on the cloud but yet where is Microsoft software there? They are not enabling Linux with their server/services software. Do they put Bash on Windows? No, they move PowerShell to Ubuntu so that Windows admins stay with Microsoft tech.

        So I still see Microsoft using Windows as it's cash cow and it's still their method of control. Remember BeOS was shut down because even after a couple of antitrust cases, Microsoft was still blocking vendors from installing other OS's at the OEM level. Remember Netbooks? Started as useful little and cheap Linux laptops but Microsoft had to shut that down by locking the vendors into bloating the hardware and preventing the low priced Linux devices from being sold.

        If there is something new going on in Redmond, it's so minute it's like seeing an oil super tanker react to a course change.

    3. Mage Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Windows is their cash cow

      Was...

      Huge amount of free Win 10.

      Are OEMs paying much for it?

      Is MS strategy for future selling services and their "Cloud"? (Cloud = Opaque Hosting)

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Windows is their cash cow

        Was...

        Huge amount of free Win 10.

        Will continue to be a cash cow for sometime yet; funny how so many round here totally forget (or don't know about?) MS's volume licensing where businesses get to pay an annual subscription to run whichever versions of Windows they want and more if they want those versions supported...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They have hired top Linux people before

      Yeah, but that was the Ballmer era... Windows or the highway. Nadella is opening Microsoft up and embracing Linux.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They have hired top Linux people before

      Windows is still a big business, but it is not make or break in the way it once was. They are giving away Win10 and it has put a small dent in revenues, but no major issue.

      1. Doug 3

        Re: They have hired top Linux people before

        I keep hearing Windows 10 is free so they are not making money on the Windows OS. So Windows 10 is free for a computer without an OS? No, it's a free upgrade after you've already paid them for a desktop Windows OS license. So not free and they still make lots of money, billions of dollars per quarter from Windows OS licenses.

        yes they make billions from Microsoft Office for Windows, yes they make billions from Windows Server but those are all tied to and with the Windows OS so their business income, revenue and profits rely heavily on the Windows OS.

        They will not be promoting another OS which threatens that income. All this Linux stuff they are doing is just to keep their customers from going to another vendor for this cloud stuff. The same cloud stuff which was created because of the virtual machine business became a way to save businesses from Windows server hell. The Windows server hell is because of the unreliability of the Windows OS which forced companies to have one service per PC and then a backup PC for redundancy. Dozens of server PC's and each one was under utilized because they needed to keep only one service per PC.

        1. 1Rafayal

          Re: They have hired top Linux people before

          It's a free OS, not just a free upgrade.

          You can choose to upgrade from your existing installation of windows or you can choose to to an install from scratch.

          I cannot see how Windows is still Microsoft's main cash supply. They make way more money selling one office licence. You can go further, just one MSDN subscription blows the cost of a Windows 10 Home install dvd with COA.

          As for promoting another OS, I am not entirely sure how you got to this "point", but anyway... Microsoft doesn't need to promote Linux, it never has - Linux does a good job of that all by itself.

          As for your "Windows server hell" scenario, well, do you Internet?

        2. h4rm0ny

          Re: They have hired top Linux people before

          >>"Windows server hell"

          See, I could accept an argument that MS's GNU/Linux involvement is a rear-guard action and wont see competitive support. I don't think that's true, but I could see it as a supportable argument. But then you go off on one about "Windows server Hell". There might be people who feel that way if they're a GNU/Linux shop and they have one odd Windows server needed for some piece of critical software and they don't really know how to maintain it or have processes to manage it. An odd inconsistency in your processes is always a PITA. But Windows as an OS is pretty solid. And it has a lot of very good enterprise tools to manage it. So I conclude that you don't know what you're talking about.

          1. 1Rafayal
            Flame

            Re: They have hired top Linux people before

            to be honest, comments like "Windows server hell" are probably made by people who dont even work in IT.

            I think even the infrastructure guys I have worked with in the past didnt care about the Windows/Linux debate. They just wanted to get stuff done with Windows and with Linux.

            I think the Linux fantards need to pick their words pretty carefully now. In the past it has always been Microsoft telling you point blank how they can do it better than anyone else (because they are a business) and consultancies pushing Linux telling you they can do it better than anyone else (because they are a business).

            Now we seem to be in a situation where the real Linux community is overshadowed by this group of screaming, mewling, complaining fantards who may have read a copy of Computer Active back in the late 90's telling people point blank that you should use Linux for everything because Microsoft has been "duping" people for the last forever into using products that are not fit for purpose. If Linux was the pinnacle of computing that it is being made out to be, it would have superceded every other OS out there since 1992. And fuck me, it hasnt.

            Instead we have competition, which is a much better thing to have than the narrow oligarchy offered by either MS or the Linux community.

    6. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: They have hired top Linux people before

      As others have noted Windows is not the cash cow it once was. Slurp may have a couple of adults in the room.

      The market has shifted from classic desktop type applications found in businesses to personal apps found on phones and tablets. Many of the apps require Internet access to be functional while the traditional business applications were often mostly stand alone products that do not require Internet access to function. Add that many browser based Cloud SaaS do not have any OS requirements, just an browser that is reasonably compliant with HTML5/CSS3.

      The adults realize as OSes and their ecosystems are less important it might behove Slurp to start using/supporting other OSes if they wish to stay relevant.

    7. Just Enough

      Re: They have hired top Linux people before

      "Since Windows is their cash cow and without it they vaporize ... ... "

      This market analysis brought to you from the year 2000.

      Everyone has moved on since the time where the desktop OS was king.

  6. kryptylomese

    Why does everyone care about what Microsoft does when evidence shows that they makes shit software?

    Why does it matter if the company even exists or not and why do so many people care?

    They have played a brilliant marketing game and brainwashed a couple of generations into defending the shit that they turn out. However the game has changed now (thankfully)!

    How can a company that is well known for making shit software turn itself around and compete with the juggernaut of Linux (no one should even care if they cannot)?

    1. Bob Vistakin
      Pint

      Couldn't have put it better myself, and I've often tried.

    2. Mikey

      Oh dear...

      I'm baffled, even after all this time, why people insist on defining anything Microsoft makes as 'shit'. Given that it's what a lot of people will pick up and use first when learning how to operate a PC, and given how many use it daily for home and work, as well as some of their other better products (mice and keyboards, certainly), it's certainly far from shit. It may not be the best, but there is worse out there, and you cannot pretend that in some cases, FOSS stuff is actually worse.

      There have been waves of good and bad from that company, just as there has been from any project, company or individual. To slate it all as shit is ignorant at best, and rabidly fanatical at worst. I suspect a lot of it stems from people still bitter about the Linux desktop market being much smaller than they'd like, when they forget that the server segment is much more impressive. Linux has it's place, but the desktop is still not it for the masses, for the time being.

      If you can bring yourself to focus on the good from all sources, then you'll appreciate what there is out there, and at the same time you can truly decry the real dross, but again from all sources. I freely admit that I'm only slowly starting to get more into the FOSS world myself, but that's mainly because of the rabid and unfriendly fans that put me off for many years. Still, I ignore them now for the narrow-minded fools they are, and carry on with using the best of whatever I can find.

      Maybe you should do so as well? One less unpleasant ranting zealot in the world is one step closer to getting people to use Linux, and isn't that what you'd want?

      1. energystar

        Strenght in diversity.

        99% Linux today. But acknowledge most of family and friends are Windows. A few are Apple. Mother couldn't handle anything but [thanks God is here -gentrified versions are needed, by the way-] Google. My bank and the tax system of my Country couldn't make it without Oracle.

      2. kryptylomese

        Re: Oh dear...

        "Given that it's what a lot of people will pick up and use first when learning how to operate a PC" - And that is why is should worry you. People who have grown up without ONLY using Microsoft products know that MS's poorly written code and fisher price operating systems are rubbish compared with the alternatives, not to mention the fact that MS have done everything they can to lock people in.

        " it's certainly far from shit" - really? https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-code-quality-at-Microsoft-like

        They do in fact make shit software! (yes I could have posted more links but you can look it up for yourself)

        Linux users know how to build tools using what comes with the operating system where as Windows people always say "Windows can do such and such too you just need to install X" and X is never free or extensible.

        Windows abstracts you away from what the computer is doing and you lose control because of it.

        What about other Microsoft offerings - well Office is a bag of crap too, it still crashes even though it has been around for more than quarter of a century.

        The world is running more instances of Linux than anything else so no need to care if one more person uses Linux or not, OK not yet on the desktop but even that is changing, and Microsoft is now offering Linux certification and releasing software (I would not use that though) that runs on Linux and even their Azure has a hell of a lot of Linux on it:-

        http://www.winbeta.org/news/microsoft-sell-red-hat-enterprise-linux-licenses-azure

        Maybe you should stop being so naively optimistic about Microsoft?

        1. Mikey

          Re: Oh dear...

          Krypt, you're doing the same as John has, you've focused on things that are utterly insignificant to the end user. Code quality matters to those who write it, debug it, and document it. Not to those who never see it, or understand it, or care about it. If it works, and works well enough, that's all that really matters to the majority of users. So again, from a technical standpoint you're correct in the need for quality, but it's just not important if you're not a coder.

          "Linux users know how to build tools..." - What, ALL of them? I can pretty much disprove that immediately, with something that'll shock you. I run Maemo on an N900, and I wouldn't have the first clue how to do that, much less need to. All the apps I need? I just (wait for it!) download and install, and wouldn't you know it, some are just plain crap. There are many apps and widgets in the various repositories, and about half to three quarters are just variations on the same things. A couple of media players, some hackneyed open source games with names that aren't quite the same as the proper version but invariably persist on keeping the ill-fitting 'open' part of the title, a few custom apps that will be of bugger all use to anyone other than the author and 3 mildly insane people (List of bell towers, anyone? Or an app to measure the correct steeping time for tea?).

          It goes without saying, just because you CAN build apps and tools, doesn't mean they're going to be good, useful or necessary.

          "The world is running more instances of Linux than anything else" - I'm not going to argue that, but I WILL point out that the vast majority of those will again never be seen by those who use the services of which they provide. All people want is the easy to use UI, or the web pages that server provides, or whatever service is provided. If the server kept popping up little notifications every now and then to say 'Hey! You're using something powered by Linux!', then relatively few will understand what that meant, and even fewer would actually care. It's on OS, it's not the universal panacea for all of mankind's ills and shortcomings that some seem to portray it as.

          As for being naively optimistic, I'm sorry to burst your little zealot bubble, but I'm not pro-Microsoft. Sure, I use their stuff, but I'm not out there preaching all the benefits of anything they sell. Hell, I'm usually warning people against upgrading to a new version of Windows until it's been out for a while, and we can see what needs some attention to rectify whatever shortcomings and cockups there happen to be. I would wager that kind of thing even happens in the Linux world, although precious few would admit that. So reign in the vitriol and just be thankful you have a choice of what you'd like to use, and maybe let others have that same choice as well, even if it's not the one you'd prefer.

          1. kryptylomese

            Re: Oh dear...

            @Mikey, Microsoft made things that have not allowed people to develop skills like making tool sets. Of course not everyone who uses Linux knows how to do it (Android runs on Linux after all), I meant people who work with computers for a living (and yes even some of those don't).

            You are confusing downloading apps with using the components of the operating system to achieve a goal. Windows does not have components that can be used in this way so you always have to download an app.

            The fact that Linux runs in more places than anywhere else and most people don't realise that is the case IS the point. Any one thinking of starting a career now would be insane to want learn the MS way of doing things.

            New version of Windows will still have the same problems.

            Your reply was rather sanctimonious and I think that you too are a little naive. I don't think you actually understand why Linux is so pervasive.

            1. TVU

              Re: Oh dear...

              "The fact that Linux runs in more places than anywhere else and most people don't realise that is the case IS the point. Any one thinking of starting a career now would be insane to want learn the MS way of doing things."

              In part, that lack of knowledge is the fault of the three major commercial Linux companies, Suse, Red Hat and Canonical, for failing to promote awareness of their community operating systems.

              While the enterprise Linux side of things brings in the cash, wider public knowledge and use of their community operating systems would still be useful for them because then decision-making executives would be more likely to be aware of Linux and not need re-educating.

              It would also mean that the next generation of young potential developers would have already had an introduction to Linux. I think that they should all do more in that respect.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They are the largest tech company in the world and arguably still the most influential. I understand the anger. Ballmer was undoubtedly a belligerent CEO as were his deputies. Ballmer planned to go wreck everyone, but he created such a nasty culture inside of Microsoft that they were too busy wrecking each other. Satya is still trying to fix the broken processes, culture, etc. Clean up the mess.... Satya is a different story. They went from the worst CEO in tech to, I would argue, the best. He is a deeply technical CEO who is not concerned with making the most possible money this quarter regardless of the consequences. He seems to be a long term, strategic thinker... and seems to want to win based on giving people a better deal/experience as opposed to trapping them (trapping them is basically the way most enterprise software companies work). I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I understand why others are skeptical, because, as I mentioned, Ballmer and his cronies were nasty.

      1. John Sanders
        Holmes

        Did you made all that up? I'm sure you did all in your head.

        """Satya is a different story."""

        Of course, each time he opens his mouth and a rainbow comes out of it.

        ...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Did you made all that up?

          """Satya is a different story."""

          Seriously? You cannot recognize the difference between Ballmer and Satya. Ballmer called Linux a cancer, Satya is embracing it. Ballmer knew little about technology, Satya came from engineering. Satya partners with everyone, Ballmer partnered with no one. It is night and day.

      2. kryptylomese

        No, they are the 6th largest tech company in the world - The world has moved on....

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_largest_information_technology_companies

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "No, they are the 6th largest tech company in the world - The world has moved on...."

          Well, if you include things like Amazon's retail business as a "technology business" (which is a technology business in the same sense a bank is a technology business, they use a lot of it) then it is sixth largest. If you are discussing enterprise technology, it is the largest. Larger than IBM, Cisco, Oracle, HPE, etc, etc. Apple is larger, but it is a consumer company. Point being, if you are a CIO, Microsoft is the largest player.

      3. Palpy

        Re: Nadella as a "long-term, strategic thinker"

        Well. Hold on a moment, please. Two contrasting modes (among many) of long-term corporate strategy:

        1. Create and maintain products based on what users want: clean interfaces, incremental improvements, strong security and customer privacy.

        2. Create products based on maximizing corporate profit even when the product development negatively impacts user interests: closed formats, data harvesting, ill-considered features which add value but which also breach user security badly.

        I might guess that Microsoft's long-term strategy currently matches profile #2 better than profile #1.

        For example, nobody I know is happy about MS collecting user data -- some people don't care, some object, but nobody sees it as a "Thank GOD they're doing this! Finally!" development. Microsoft put corporate profit over user interests.

        Similarly, users may or may not want to install Windows 10. But Microsoft has gone far past what is reasonable to make users who do NOT want 10 to end up with it anyway.

        And: VBA macros are great tools. They are also the prime vector, as I understand it, for attacking targets like hospitals with file-encryption malware. What has Microsoft done in response, other than a pop-up warning? How about use Windows' permission to disable certain VBA file access operations? Yes, that would involve complicated and costly revisions of the VBA engine, and it would break many customers' macros. But to a patient with kidney failure, encrypted dialysis records are ... rather a big deal. Customers' interests first? Not so much.

        I'm not hugely anti-Microsoft. Windows is a helluva OS. I literally do not remember the last time I triggered a blue screen on my work machines. <self-serving>Linux and Mac only at home.</self-serving> MS Office does a lot of things very well, and LibreOffice does some things quite badly by comparison. (It does just a couple of things better, in my experience.) The Windows ecosystem is the richest software motherlode on the planet.

        But: "[Nadella] seems to want to win based on giving people a better deal/experience as opposed to trapping them"?

        I believe the evidence is otherwise. But thanks for a well-written, discussion-stimulating post.

      4. agatum

        >> I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

        Really, after win10? You amaze me.

    4. John Sanders
      Windows

      I have another question for you:

      Regardless of quality issues, why the fcuk people everywhere always bend to MS?

      MS puts lots of spyware and crap in the OS, yet people bend installing GWX to remove the shit that MS intentionally ships the OS with.

      That's what I do not get, people know they are there to get them, yet you they insist on bending and closing their eyes.

      Why?

      1. Mikey

        Oh dear,Johnny... you're looking at things from a very black-and-white viewpoint. And, most likely, from the usual technical standpoint of someone who is well versed in the intricate inner workings of software, most likely. That's not a bad thing, sure. But then, realise there are many, many more who haven't the slightest clue how the box of internets and email actually works, and those are the people who benefit from something familiar, something that can be found almost anywhere, something they understand.

        No-one is 'bending' for anyone here. People will always go with what is familiar and comfortable for them, even if it's something that you personally dislike for whatever reason. Trying to get said people to change by ranting about how 'crap' something is largely unlikely to work, as most will (rightly or wrongly) dismiss you as a lunatic. However, if you were to sit down and actually show these people what you can offer them , instead of frothing rhetoric and sneered put-downs, they may actually listen and learn. However, you're currently being one of those people who used to put me right off the idea of using Linux due to the attitude you're presenting.

        If you actually cared about the user, and not just about one-upping a large software company, you'd steer away from the ranty lunacy and try different tactics. That said, you're being said loony on a technical website were people already use what they like, so good luck with that, chum.

        1. Doug 3

          "People will always go with what is familiar and comfortable for them,...."

          The strange thing about this is that it is what was said about every OS which tried to get into the market Microsoft was dominating. OS/2, BeOS, PalmOS, UNIX, Linux, etc. 'too difficult to learn something different', 'Windows is familiar and training costs will be expensive', blah blah blah. Then along comes the iPhone and guess what, it's not Windows and people have no problem learning and using it. Android, the same thing. Microsoft tried a handheld OS and phone OS which looked and acted like Windows but it was painful to use on small screens with limited hardware. So what did Microsoft do? They changed the UI.

          So much for familiar and comfortable being a good excuse to stick with a painful system. Misery loves company might work though.

          1. Joe Montana

            Familiar...

            Not only that, but successive versions of windows and msoffice are significantly different to previous ones that users have to get used to the differences anyway, and most such users will find it no more difficult to switch to mac or a modern linux.

        2. werdsmith Silver badge

          But then, realise there are many, many more who haven't the slightest clue how the box of internets and email actually works,

          ....or even care.

        3. dajames Silver badge

          People will always go with what is familiar and comfortable for them, ...

          That's not quite right. People will always go with what they expect is going to be familiar and comfortable for them, perhaps.

          Sometimes they are wrong. Sometimes they upgrade from (say) Office 2003 to Office 2007 and spend the next 8 years complaining about the ribbon. Sometimes they upgrade from (say) Windows 7 to Windows 8 and wonder where the 'Start' menu is. It's not hard to learn about these things before making the leap, but people just close their eyes and jump.

          The truth is that people don't like change; don't like novelty; are afraid to try something new in case it bewilders them or requires them to learn something. Some of the time they are right to avoid the new and different because the change will indeed require them to learn new ways for little gain, but sometimes they would be better to take the plunge, because although the change may require a little effort it may also bring great rewards through greater capability and more efficient workflow.

          I remember when Microsoft were selling Windows CE as an OS for handheld PDAs; they persuaded a great many people that their Pocket Office package on "Windows for Pocket PC" was the product to use because it was compatible with desktop Microsoft Office, despite volumes of evidence that (for example) Documents to Go on a Palm offered more of the functionality of the desktop Office applications and preserved the content of documents more completely on "round tripping" (copying a document from the desktop, modifying it on the Palm, and copying it back to the desktop). Very many people people simply accepted that because it was 'obvious' that two Microsoft programs would be more compatible with each other than a Microsoft program and a third party one. They didn't do any research, they just assumed that because the two programs had the same name "everything would work" ... even though it didn't take a lot of research to discover that this was not the case.

          The problem is that it's seen as "geeky" and therefore somehow socially unacceptable to do that little bit of research, or perhaps that it's "geeky" to care about technical issues at all.

          Even those people who may have heard of an alternative to Microsoft's software seem to think that it must be inherently more difficult to use, or usable by people who don't wash, or can count in hexadecimal on their fingers ... unless it's that shiny expensive stuff from Apple that's only used by hipsters and fashion victims.

          Microsoft benefits from this by being seen as the non-geeky option, the socially acceptable mediocrity that anyone can safely use.

          Sturgeon's law applies.

  7. Steve Channell
    Happy

    Microsoft Linux Container OS with NT kernel

    Microsoft know that there is no money advantage keeping NT proprietary, but an open source OS that can host Windows and Linux containers as sub-systems with VM clustering and migration is the idea kernel to ship with server hardware.

    Expect to see NT open-sourced

    1. Mikel

      Re: Microsoft Linux Container OS with NT kernel

      The NT kernel source leaked out years ago. What a barrel of laughs that was, to the people who could look without tainting their own work. You would not believe what horrors of incompetence lurk in there without reading it yourself. It's an epic freak show that boggles the mind. No doubt they would want to start over before publishing the new thing and calling it an open source NT - using coders who had never themselves been tainted with the experience of reading that.

      There are some things you just can't unsee.

      1. Uffe Seerup

        Re: Microsoft Linux Container OS with NT kernel

        > The NT kernel source leaked out years ago. What a barrel of laughs that was, to the people who could look without tainting their own work

        Oh, you mean this?

        https://www.thetfp.com/tfp/tilted-technology/46375-article-leaked-windows-source-code-print.html

        "Despite the above, the quality of the code is generally excellent. Modules are small, and procedures generally fit on a single screen. The commenting is very detailed about intentions, but doesn't fall into "add one to i" redundancy".

    2. AlbertH
      Devil

      Re: Microsoft Linux Container OS with NT kernel

      Expect to see NT open-sourced

      No chance. They really don't want to reveal the abysmal tangled spaghetti mess that is the NT kernel.

      MS are just shifting their means of monetising their (abysmal) products: They make clear in their EULA that all you've bought is a "licence to use" their products - NOT the products themselves. They're clearly moving towards some "pay-per-use" model with remotely housed application servers. You can be sure that W10.5 will be (effectively) a thin client for their "App Store".....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Microsoft Linux Container OS with NT kernel

        "They make clear in their EULA that all you've bought is a "licence to use" their products - NOT the products themselves."

        Same as every other piece of shrink wrap software then, surely?

        "They're clearly moving towards some "pay-per-use" model with remotely housed application servers. "

        I think that's likely, but your post would have looked better without the non-value-added (in fact, unhelpful) "licenced not sold" sentence.

  8. keithpeter Silver badge
    Windows

    @kryptylomese

    "Why does it matter if the company even exists or not and why do so many people care?"

    Just sit down quietly for 10 minutes away from a screen or connected device. Take a pencil and a piece of paper.

    Now make a list of the consequences of Microsoft *products* suddenly becoming unavailable.

    Think small and medium businesses. Think most educational institutions and health services. Think the civil service itself.

    Of course, it won't happen suddenly. If there was the slightest chance of Microsoft tanking, you'll see UN level action to keep them afloat.

    Microsoft will remain profitable on legacy systems for decades with dwindling returns. We can't blame them for trying out new things can we?

    1. kryptylomese

      I will respond to your rather dramatic comment - If Microsoft ended as a company, Windows would still run on the computers of all that you mentioned - nothing would happen, and then they would just switch to Linux which is what they are going to do anyway

      1. keithpeter Silver badge
        Windows

        Patents...

        @kryptylomese

        See title. The residue of Microsoft could be purchased and turned into a version of SCO larger than Jupiter. With teeth.

        But I agree, a very unlikely scenario.

      2. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Actually, not quite the case

        The non-Embedded versions of Windows need to talk to an authentication server to "activate".

        So if those central servers went down, then it would very quickly become impossible to bring up a new Windows computer.

        Or fix one that decided it had been changed "too much".

        1. Fibbles

          Re: Actually, not quite the case

          As the multitude of cracked Windows installs show, bypassing Redmond's authentication servers is not hard.

        2. hplasm
          Holmes

          Re: Actually, not quite the case

          "So if those central servers went down, then it would very quickly become impossible to bring up a new Windows computer."

          Karma. Not pretty.

      3. Joe Montana

        Still running

        Existing installs would continue running, but new installs could not be activated, security updates could not be installed, some existing installs would declare themselves as pirated and stop working, it would still be a big mess.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Still running

          But the new server installs do work without activating. They whinge a lot and make it quite clear to anyone logged on that they are not activated, but they do keep working.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    For shame!

    Coin has enticed him to join the Forces of Darkness!

    Only Linus can hold his head high, with honour and dignity.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: For shame!

      Ha! Richard Matthew Stallman is the one and only true Warrior of Light that will lead, nay, FORCE us down the illuminated path of FREEDOM to do whatever HE WANT US TO DO because he knows BETTER, even if it means EATING STUFF found between OUR TOES!!!11one!!

      Or we can just think about software/hardware as tools and chose whatever we want, whatever floats your boat.

      1. TVU

        Re: For shame!

        "Or we can just think about software/hardware as tools and chose whatever we want, whatever floats your boat."

        ^^^ I fully agree with this and if a business decides that its technical and costing requirements are met by any one of Canonical, Microsoft, Red Hat or Suse then that's their decision and it shouldn't be my concern.

    2. h4rm0ny

      Re: For shame!

      I think you mean Stallman. He's the one that - for better or worse - has always been self-consistent in his principles and doesn't waver.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Open Source?

    Coekaerts has been instrumental in getting Oracle geared up for open source

    That's a curious comment. At the time Sun was acquired by Oracle it was heavily into open source (albeit it not in a productive way) and Oracle lost no time in crushing all of that work. Within Oracle Coekaerts was more seen as the virtualization guy, and I'd guess that it's in that role Microsoft wants him.

    1. jch

      Re: Open Source?

      Wrong on both counts.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Open Source?

        Wrong on both counts.

        Care to elaborate? I'm certainly right on one, and pretty sure I'm right on the other.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. jch

          Re: Open Source?

          I've even more sure you're wrong now :)

  11. DrXym Silver badge

    Using open source and contributing it are two different things

    From that summary it sounds like more of the former and less of the latter.

  12. jake Silver badge

    And as a side-note ...

    There is a fly in the ointment.

    The fly's name is Dave Cutler. As long as Dave's in charge of OS development at Microsoft, Microsoft will *not* do anything UNIXish ... Dave hates the entire un*x model.

    Dave's work at DEC was nothing short of brilliant, given the hardware resources available to him at the time ... but I suspect MS has him locked in for life, contractually speaking. It's the only reason I can see that he still works for Redmond, anyway. It's really sad to see a true visionary stifled. Not that I know anything, you understand.

    Whatever happened to "Barrelfish", anyway ;-)

    1. kryptylomese

      Re: And as a side-note ...

      "Microsoft, Microsoft will *not* do anything UNIXish" - Poppycock, they are offering Linux certification and are adding BASH to Windows also they used to have a Unix subsystem in Windows that was deprecated.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @kryptylomese (was: Re: And as a side-note ...)

        "Poppycock, they are offering Linux certification"

        As if anyone would hold that particular certificate in any regard ...

        "and are adding BASH to Windows"

        bash has been available for windows since Win3.0... fully functional since NT 3.1

        "also they used to have a Unix subsystem in Windows that was deprecated."

        That was POSIX, not *nix. Big difference. Cutler "depreciated" it.

        1. kryptylomese

          Re: @kryptylomese (was: And as a side-note ...)

          Troll detected (or you just don't know much about Windows) but I will respond this time:-

          "As if anyone would hold that particular certificate in any regard ..."

          Azure is mainly Linux now - they need to offer certification to look after those instances

          "bash has been available for windows since Win3.0... fully functional since NT 3.1"

          I was referring to Windows10 which is current and therefore contradicts what was said about Mr Cutler not allowing anything Unix like now!

          "That was POSIX, not *nix. Big difference. Cutler "depreciated" it."

          Just wrong:-

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Services_for_UNIX

    2. John Sanders
      Mushroom

      Re: And as a side-note ...

      Dave Cutler is 74.

      And I'm sorry for genius Dave, but like many, he too confused the forest with the trees when it comes to understanding the UNIX model.

      I'm not saying the UNIX model is the end and the beginning of it all, just that Dave as cool as you think he was is not god either.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: And as a side-note ...

        >>"And I'm sorry for genius Dave, but like many, he too confused the forest with the trees when it comes to understanding the UNIX model."

        How so? Back that up.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: And as a side-note ...

        "Dave Cutler is 74."

        What the hell does THAT have to do with anything?

        "And I'm sorry for genius Dave"

        I'm sure he doesn't care about your opinion.

        "but like many, he too confused the forest with the trees when it comes to understanding the UNIX model."

        Absolutely wrong. I used to argue with him all the time when I was at DEC. Quite arguably, the TOPS-10 and TOPS-20 line were head and shoulders better than the BSD side I was working on. Unfortunately, DEC management squandered the franchise.

        "I'm not saying the UNIX model is the end and the beginning of it all, just that Dave as cool as you think he was is not god either."

        I didn't say he was godlike. But he is/was a brilliant OS designer. Sad that he's handcuffed to the Redmond machine. The world would have been a much better place, OS-wise, if he had struck out on his own after bailing out of DEC (as many of us did when it became obvious that management was completely cocking things up).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And as a side-note ...

          The world would have been a much better place, OS-wise, if he had struck out on his own after bailing out of DEC (as many of us did when it became obvious that management was completely cocking things up).

          No the only way the world would of been a better place is if DEC had taken the hint and released the VMS source code - it was what the then chairman of X/Open is on public record as saying - without this, X/Open had little choice but base POSIX on Unix...

          I really liked my MicroVax and just didn't understand why DEC decided not to mass market a desktop version in the 80's when it could consigned the IBM PC to history.

          Unfortunately as you note the DEC management and CEO weren't up to the task and the rest is history.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And as a side-note ...

      " I suspect MS has him locked in for life, contractually speaking. It's the only reason I can see that he still works for Redmond, anyway. It's really sad to see a true visionary stifled."

      Isn't that the main reason why Microsoft Research Fellows exist anyway?

      Cutler's last sighting (that I can quickly find) was in 2012:

      http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-confirms-dave-cutler-father-of-windows-nt-now-working-on-xbox/

      Another MS Fellow with clue who clearly doesn't belong there is C.A.R. ("Tony") Hoare, of Communicating Sequential Processes (and other) fame.

  13. jake Silver badge

    Whatever

    TLA title holders moving about between multi-billion US$ multi-national corporations rarely have any impact on reality. Kinda like last week's yeast in over-risen dough, really.

  14. luis river

    Good job !

    "Wim Coekaerts , good luck". In MSFT i now is more easy to make great work. I wait that all your outcomes will be fulfil

  15. Bruce Ordway

    MS - Opensource - Windows 10 - shell games

    Off topic

    The other day I had a weird flashback.while fixing another users Windows 10 issue

    The UI struck me as a creepy/crappy variant of Gnome or KDE.

    Then I remembered I used to play with booting Windows to different shells.. a long time ago.

    I wonder if MS could/would ever separate it's UI, I think Windows server is kind of doing this already.

    1. John Sanders
      Devil

      Re: MS - Opensource - Windows 10 - shell games

      """The UI struck me as a creepy/crappy variant of Gnome or KDE."""

      That's exactly what is its, a bit more polished and stable (specially compared to the KDE's disgrace), but essentially that.

      You can clearly understand now the meaning of:

      Microsoft lost the plot.

  16. ecofeco Silver badge

    Oh. The. Irony.

    Darth Vader welcomes Captain Queeg on board.

  17. tempemeaty
    Big Brother

    Stratagy

    Suck the oxygen out of the room Linux resides in.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Coffee/keyboard

    Passage from frying pan to fire successfully negotiated

    I wonder if he'll even notice the difference. We won't.

  19. Chas E. Erath

    Almost deja vu

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/06/14/_microsoft_gentoo/

  20. EvadingGrid

    Secret Plan

    The "Secret Plan" is to copy others and make an OS with Linux/Unix underneath and a Proprietary Desktop on top.

    Be Very Afraid.

  21. PAT MCCLUNG

    Any puke that has worked for Oracle should fit right in at M$.

  22. Christopher E. Stith

    "And, my friends, in this story you have a history of this entire movement. First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you." -- Nicholas Klein, 1918, concerning the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America

    I chuckle sometimes thinking of Donald Trump quoting a unionist...

  23. All names Taken
    Boffin

    Seems fair...

    feels fair

    And in a sense the raw dynamic energies of IT/Software/Hardware startups in competetive alliances chasing guvmint, enterprise, organisation and end user client bases of the old days can be forgiven to an extent?

    IT/Software/Hardware were new, raw, unknowns (eg business model own direct or own licence to use? ) and kind of dynamic event space means things are different from now. Perhaps with a greater emphasis on co-operation due to economic rebalancing?

    So MS perspective is: we own our own environment (Windows event space) we can expand into other event spaces such as linux if that is where future business is?

    Jus wondring thats all...

  24. dm_dv
    FAIL

    Have you?

    Interesting article and interesting comments but have any of you actually tried Microsoft Unix?

    Yes, there is a version for Windows! And "Yes" I have tried it, an "No" I didn't like it!

    Every OS has differences, developers are only human beings after all, Windows is nasty, but there influence inside the Open Source sphere can be equally as nasty.

    Gnome as a desktop reflects in my view a desktop going nasty, gone is the functionality and simplicity of your Window manager, the minute you start installing crap like Java-scripting hosts and nifty panels that are going to eat all the system resources thereby slowing down your workstation - causing the CPU to struggle simply from trying to display your desktop on what back in the day was considered to be adequate memory.

    Oracle used to get the desktop balance right with lightweight window managers like the "Common Desktop Environment", it would be nice to see a resurgence of 'alternative' Window managers other than simply X11 and Gnome.

    Even Blackberry QNX has it's own unique Window manager called "Nautilus"

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