Microsoft sees the Linux light

Just flagging a quick one, from DAC at the end of last week – Mentor unveils Android, Linux strategy at DAC

Just flagging a quick one, from DAC at the end of last week – Mentor unveils Android, Linux strategy at DAC

Written by Rick Nelson, Editor-in-Chief of our sister title EDN, he begins:

Mentor Graphics announced its acquisition of Embedded Alley Solutions as a key component of its Android and embedded Linux strategy Wednesday afternoon at the Design Automation Conference.

Mentor also announced the integration of its Nucleus Graphical User Interface tool with the ARM Mali graphics processing unit; it announced the availability of a Linux and Nucleus operating-system combination for the Marvell Sheeva MV78200 dual-core embedded processor; and it said that it is extending Embedded Alley’s Android mobile-applications platform to support Freescale Semiconductor’s QorIQ and PowerQUICC III processors.

Read the full article >>

android-logo-3-thumb-118x129-43456.jpgMore Android developments to flag, as Google’s venture into an Open Source mobile platform gains some momentum.

Check out these two items involving MIPS and T-Mobile:

MIPS moves closer to running Android on set-tops
MIPS Technologies has stepped up its plan to widen the market applications for Android platform beyond mobiles. Following its port of the Android platform to the MIPS architecture, the microprocessor firm is making the source code publicly available…
Read the full article >>

T-Mobile launches next-gen Android mobile phone in the US
The mobile phone market will be watching as T-Mobile launches its next generation Android mobile phone, myTouch 3G, in the US today. Designed by HTC of Taiwan, T-Mobile myTouch 3G is being presented as the “Google phone”…
Read the full article >>

microsoft-logo-thumb-118x38-43552.jpgDidn’t expect to be writing about Microsoft in this blog, but here we are. A bit late flagging this, from last week… but even Redmond is seeing the benefit of Open Source.

Microsoft has announced the release of 20,000 lines of device driver code to the Linux community. It apparently includes three Linux device drivers, which have been submitted to the Linux kernel community for inclusion in the Linux tree.

The drivers are intended to enhance the performance of the Linux operating system when virtualised on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V or Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V.

Read Steve Subar’s blog – from the Open Kernel Labs – for a good overview of the situation.

Welcoming the move, he points out:

Whatever motives you might attribute to the Microsoft submission, you should remember that most virtualization platform suppliers, for enterprise, desktop and embedded applications, DO NOT typically make the effort to send patches and virtual device drivers upstream, and variously observe the letter of the license(s) governing patched code.

Back to the announcement, Sam Ramji, senior director of Platform Strategy at Microsoft, is quoted as saying:

We are seeing Microsoft communities and open source communities grow together, which is ultimately of benefit to our customers. The Linux community, for example, has built a platform used by many customers. So our strategy is to enhance interoperability between the Windows platform and many open source technologies, which includes Linux, to provide the choices our customers are asking for.

A central part of our strategy is the work done in the OSTC (Microsoft’s Open Source Technology Center), which we opened about three years ago. The OSTC has a deep technical expertise in Linux, UNIX and open source technologies, along with strong social connections into open source communities. We have learned a great deal from the various community leaders about how to effectively work together, and are eager to continue the dialogue.

Microsoft describes the announcement, obviously tongue in cheek, as a “break from the ordinary”.

It is certainly an improvement on previous Redmond positions on Open Source, for example Steve Balmer’s notorious “Linux is a cancer” quote in the Chicago Sun-Times back in 2001.



  1. Thanks for the comment Greg. For other readers’ reference, I’ve just read this on The Register – Microsoft opened Linux-driver code after ‘violating’ GPL
    After Redmond covered itself in glory by opening up the code, it now looks like it may have acted simply to head off any potentially embarrassing legal dispute over violation of the GPL.

  2. Greg Wilson-Lindberg

    As you said, you are reporting on this a bit late. In which case you might have dug a bit deeper and found that they were pressured into releasing the code because they were violating the GPL by linking their code with GPL’d code. Don’t fall victim to all of M$’s spin.

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