Microsoft worried by Linux cloud

March 27, 2009

Microsoft worried by Linux cloudMicrosoft has opposed an industry-wide plan to promote interoperability in cloud computing claiming. Officially it’s because the firm believes the plan is unnecessarily secretive, but there are allegations Microsoft feels threatened by the plan boosting Linux-based systems.

The ‘Open Cloud Manifesto’ will launch on Monday in New York. It’s a joint project that includes IBM, Amazon and Google among many others and aims to produce guidelines for how different operating systems should interact in cloud computing. That’s a name given to services which run online rather than on a user’s computer: think Gmail vs Microsoft Outlook for an idea.

There are many different cloud computing services available, from Google Docs to Microsoft’s Azure system to Amazon’s data storage and processing services. The goal of the Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum (CCIF), which has produced the manifesto, is to minimize the barriers between different technologies used in cloud computing.

Microsoft has rejected the manifesto citing two main objections. It argues that cloud computing is still at such an early stage it is impractical to develop guidelines such as these. And it believes the manifesto’s development has not been open and transparent.

However, the real reason for Microsoft’s objections may lay in a statement by the CCIF noting:

The CCIF will not condone any use of a particular technology for the purposes of market dominance and or advancement of any one particular vendor, industry or agenda. Whenever possible the CCIF will emphasis the use of open, patent-free and/or vendor-neutral technical solutions.

That’s certainly not in tune with Microsoft’s marketing plan, though to be fair it’s hardly as if CCIF members such as IBM take a free and relaxed attitude to patented technologies.

Another theory has it that Microsoft is worried the guidelines will mean open-source systems such as Linux will flourish in cloud computing, at the expense of Microsoft’s own technology.

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4 Responses to “Microsoft worried by Linux cloud”

  1. GrokMe:

    IBM or the other CCIF members may or may not acquire software idea patents; that’s not what’s being argued here.

    What *is* being argued is that these CCIF members must not bring software patents or proprietary protocols and data formats into *cloud computing”, thus establishing a balkanisation barrier, which prevents cloud computing users from migrating from one vendor to another, which is, as you know, Microsoft’s default strategy.

  2. Eruaran:

    2015 is on the phone, they want to know if that abandoned Microsoft place in Redmond is available for rent ?

  3. Ari T.:

    “Why would Microsoft support something harmful to business strategy?

    Because of customer demand? Because Microsoft “is committed to openness and interoperability”?

    “The sad thing is a huge number of people are actually clueless about how stupid and illogical this is.”

    You fail to understand the simple fact of life that when you tramp on other peoples feet for long enough, there will be a payback time. That time has now arrived for Microsoft.

  4. Dean Mcenany:

    Interesting article and one which should be more widely known about in my view. Your level of detail is greatand the clarity of articlesis excellent. I have savedit for you so that others will be able to see what you have to say.

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