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Microsoft is releasing three Microsoft-developed Linux drivers to the Linux community for possible inclusion in the Linux source tree.Microsoft is touting today’s release of 20,000 lines of code — which it is putting under the GNU General Public License v2 (not GPL v3) licensing agreement — as part of Redmond’s commitment to improving the integration of Windows and Linux.
What's in it for them?
and then there is wine ..which MS hates ..
and dual booting ( anything other than their products )..which they dont like either ..
so this is a not very subtle try at scuppering the above options ..( makes linux seem more like an app and less like an Os if it's running in windows ) especially in the minds of Joe and Jane ..
and it may well be they are hoping that it will dissuade "average pc buyer" from trying any OS from G ..
What's in it for them? MS is not known for their warm and fuzzy attitude towards open source.
From the article:
Our initial goal in developing the (Linux driver) code was to enable Linux to run as a virtual machine on top of Hyper-V, Microsoft’s hypervisor and implementation of virtualization.
Looks like the whole point of this is to strengthen their play in the virtualization market.
Virtualization as a key part of enterprise infrastructure is growing by leaps and bounds. Microsoft is realizing just how important this segment of the market is, and will be in the future. If you can control the virtualization product, you can control which operating system acts as the "base" on top of which all the virtual systems run.
Right now, the efficiencies are heavily in favor of Linux when it comes to the base OS. VMWare and IBM both rely heavily on a Linux architecture for their enterprise virtual products, and Sun is gaining ground here as well (at least it was, until Oracle bought them out - we have yet to see how that merger is going to affect Sun virtualization).
So, as it stands, if you want a strong virtualized infrastructure, you're setting up the core servers on Linux. Microsoft needs to put some heavy work in to shift this model. They want their server products at the base of the virtual architecture, not as the froth on top. And they want Hyper-V as the core virtualization product in enterprise IT, whereas right now VMWare's ESX line pretty much owns the market.
This has nothing to do with the warm fuzzies of open-ness, and everything to do with firing a shot across the bow of VMWare, and to a lesser extent, IBM and Sun/Oracle.
MS do not necessarily benefit form people using open source apps on Windows. If Firefox ran only on open source platforms, IE would still be the only browser that mattered. Also the more people use open source apps, the more credibility it gains, and the easier it is to switch to using only open source.