A recent article in the San Jose Mercury News titled, “Microsoft strikes deal with Linux software distributor Xandros” tells us all of a new attempt at making open source more compatible (read: Uncle Tom) with Microsoft software.
Here’s the basics of the deal:
Microsoft said Monday it will share technology with Linux distributor Xandros Inc., the latest in a string of deals meant to help the patent-protected Windows operating system work more smoothly with open-source programs.Under the terms of the agreement, New York-based Xandros, which makes and distributes open-source desktop and server software, will license server code from Microsoft and develop software tools that work with Microsoft’s systems.
The companies also will work on technology to translate between two types of documents, Microsoft-developed OpenXML format and the Open Document Format. That could improve interoperability between Microsoft’s Office software and open-source rivals.
Microsoft also said in a statement it will endorse Xandros Server and Desktop programs as a preferred Linux distribution.
Something doesn’t smell right here. Most of OpenOffice can save in formats that Microsoft’s Office suite can open and OpenOffice can open pretty much all the MS Office documents. I don’t know much about the interoperability of server software but I do know that Linux servers are way more steady than Microsoft servers. Other than Xandros getting a plug from Microsoft I find it hard to see a sweet deal for the open source community. I could be missing something, but it seems like Microsoft is trying to assimilate Linux into standards and practices that will hinder open source from progressing far beyond the stagnant Microsoft crapware. Perhaps the peeps over at Xandros see something different, but all I see is Microsoft keeping their enemies closer and getting one step closer to making Linux their bitch.
I’ll keep tabs on this growing situation as it happens. Who knows it could be a good thing, maybe open source will bend Microsoft to its will and not the other way around?
Sorry to be so pessimistic. I have a bit of the stomach flu.