Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Databases Programming Software Microsoft IT

Microsoft Plays Up Open Source 224

Posted by kdawson
from the coopetition dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Recently Microsoft's open source software lab posted PostgreSQL on Windows: A Primer. Postgres is one of the longest running open source databases — it has been around for nearly 11 years. The powerful object-relational database is a direct competitor to other OSS databases, as well as Microsoft's SQL Server 2005. So why is Microsoft promoting it? I get Redmond's interest in boosting anything that runs on Windows as a platform. Is this simply a case of left-hand, right-hand, or is something deeper going on?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Plays Up Open Source

Comments Filter:
  • by croddy (659025) on Monday February 26, 2007 @01:01AM (#18149208)
    Easy. This is targeted at folks who have already decided they want to use Postgres, so they can't be sold on the $xx,000 MSSQL license... but maybe they can still be sold on the $300 OS license! It may be too late to lock them into our database, but it's not too late to lock them into the OS.
    • by Nadsat (652200) on Monday February 26, 2007 @01:38AM (#18149386) Homepage
      Right--This is not news. Nothing is going on here. They are not promoting PostgreSQL at all. There is no real promotion period. I'm not sure how one would come to that conclusion (other than conspiracy fears). The website is simply a set of installation guidelines. A guide to help keep people happy with Windows OS and not leave.
      • by DrXym (126579) on Monday February 26, 2007 @05:05AM (#18150460)
        PostgreSQL is easy peasy to install on Windows, so I don't see why anyone would even think of leaving Windows just to use it. It has a nice installer which includes pgAdmin, compiled help manual and drivers for Java, ODBC and .NET. I've even hooked it up to Open Office Base before now.

        My only wish is that they'd produce a PostgreSQL Engine version - basically PostgreSQL without the help or extraneous fluff which automatically installs without icons or anything. The DB is far, far smaller that MSDE (cut down MS SQL Server 2000) or MS SQL Server Express 2005, has most of the same features and no restrictions on use or database capacity. I work on a project that uses MSDE and the thing is a bitch to configure and make work. If I didn't have 1000+ SQL statements and 1 million lines of C++ to port, I would switch to PostgreSQL in an instant.

        Still doesn't make much sense that MS should promote it though.

    • True to an extent, but MSSQL is free to many users. What's more likely is that they're promoting it as a way to break the L out of the LAMP/LAPP stack, like the recent Sun Microsystem moves.
    • This is targeted at folks who have already decided they want to use Postgres, so they can't be sold on the $xx,000 MSSQL license... but maybe they can still be sold on the $300 OS license!

      While that's not money any of us as individuals would sneeze at, I doubt that's the money Microsoft cares about. The big money is surely in support, and Microsoft is leaving that money on the table if it insists, based on foolish pride, that it won't support stuff it didn't develop.

      Large companies like Microsoft ha

  • MS is boosting Postgre because they don't want people buying Oracle or IBM's database offerings.
    • MS is boosting Postgre [PG] because they don't want people buying Oracle or IBM's database offerings.

      I tend to agree. Oracle is a huge company, and if lots of people used PG instead of Oracle, then it may mean more Windows sales over Unix/Linux sales. Even if they lose a bit of SQL-Server sales, the migration over to Windows may offset that. Perhaps the MS bean-counters calculated that gained Windows sales would offset lost SQL-Server sales. They maybe figure that OSS DB's will eat into *all* commercial D
    • They are promoting postgres on windows because they don't want to be forced to sue people who run postgres on linux. See how nice they are?
  • by belmolis (702863) <billposer@@@alum...mit...edu> on Monday February 26, 2007 @01:13AM (#18149256) Homepage

    It is widely reported that Microsoft makes its money on Windows and Office. The other products earn little or even lose money. If this is true, it may make sense for Microsoft to attract people to Windows or keep them using Windows, by supporting PostgresSQL, even if it reduces their sales of their own database.

    • by ChatHuant (801522) on Monday February 26, 2007 @01:47AM (#18149420)
      It is widely reported that Microsoft makes its money on Windows and Office. The other products earn little or even lose money

      No, it isn't reported, and no, other products do make (lots of) money. It's very easy to look it up too: the breakdown of earnings per division can be found here [microsoft.com]. You can see that out of 5 divisions, 3 are operating at a gain, and two at a loss. The Entertainment and Devices Division (XBox) and Online Services Business (MSN) are in the red. Windows, Office and SQL Server are in the black

      The business division of interest for this particular article is Server And Tools, makers of SQL Server. Here's what Business Week says about this division here [businessweek.com]: Microsoft's server and tools business, long Microsoft's lone growth engine, had another blowout period, posting its 18th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth. Its SQL server database software posted particularly sharp gains, up 30% for the period. That helped the division's sales jump 17% to $2.9 billion

      • by belmolis (702863)

        You appear to be correct that SQL server is profitable. I note, however, that the figures you cite are consistent with what I said is reported (the big moneymakers are the ones I cited and two of the five divisions are losing money), and they don't in any way refute my statement as to what is widely reported. Here [theregister.co.uk], for example, is a report of the type that I mentioned, which is the first hit returned by Google on "Microsoft profit breakdown Office Windows". You will of course note that I indicated that I d

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ChatHuant (801522)
          the figures you cite ... don't in any way refute my statement as to what is widely reported.

          Uhh... Yes, they do. Sorry.

          Here, for example, is a report of the type that I mentioned, which is the first hit returned by Google on "Microsoft profit breakdown Office Windows".

          If you had bothered to look at the article you're citing you may have observed it was published in 2002. Long past its shelf life, in an industry as dynamic as software.

          You will of course note that I indicated that I didn't know whe
  • by stox (131684) on Monday February 26, 2007 @01:16AM (#18149266) Homepage
    Version 1 of Postgres was released in 1989. It later evolved into Postgres95 and then PostgreSQL. And it keeps getting better every year!
  • by jkrise (535370) on Monday February 26, 2007 @01:17AM (#18149268) Journal
    Postgres is one of the longest running open source databases it has been around for nearly 11 years. The powerful object-relational database is a direct competitor to other OSS databases, as well as Microsoft's SQL Server 2005. So why is Microsoft promoting it?

    Firstly, an article on Port 25 is not promotion. It does not count as mainstream media by any stretch.

    Remember the ads on TV.. where there's a forklift, lifting up what looks like battery cells... and placing them on top of a huge building... and then you see, SQL Server 2005. If Microsoft replaces those ads with Postgres instead; we can call it promotion... not until then.

    Many firms (like mine) would like to use the manpower conversant with and trained on .Net... but use a free (as in beer) database. MySQL is pretty slow with joins, so Postgres with PL/SQL and stored procedures support, may be the answer.
    • by killjoe (766577)
      WOW that's pretty amazing. I have never seen any MS development shop not use SQL server. What's your company?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jkrise (535370)
        WOW that's pretty amazing. I have never seen any MS development shop not use SQL server. What's your company?

        We aren't an MS development company. We happen to develop and deliver IT solutions to customers mainly in the BFSI segment. Ironically, the biggest cost in s/w development happens to be trained manpower; and using .Net allows us to hire cheap workforce that can do 'Brains-Free Programming!'.

        One of our important offerings for the stock brokers is built around .Net and Oracle ; we're trying to now c
        • by theCoder (23772)
          using .Net allows us to hire cheap workforce that can do 'Brains-Free Programming!'.

          [Emphasis mine]

          That's about the scariest thing I've ever heard. Assuming that BFSI is "Business, Financial Services, and Insurance" (the first link on a Google search for "BFSI"), at least you're (probably) not writing code that's directly dealing with life and death situations, but I can't imagine the kinds of WTFs are being produced by your cheap, "brains free" workforce. Even monotonous coding requires some thought, or
        • "Ironically, the biggest cost in s/w development happens to be trained manpower; and using .Net allows us to hire cheap workforce that can do 'Brains-Free Programming!'."

          Even more if you hire unproductive people that keep doing the same stuff again and again... Brains-freely...

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by ady1 (873490)

      Firstly, an article on Port 25 is not promotion.

      It's not. It's SMTP
  • by Felonius Thunk (168604) on Monday February 26, 2007 @01:20AM (#18149286) Journal
    They're really several companies with distinct businesses under common ownership. Occasionally the strategy tax must be paid (e.g. no IE for linux, no java/lamp for Visual Studio, no Exchange for *nix, MSN using wmv instead of flash), but I would guess most of the inner businesses want to do what their competitors do. It shouldn't be a surprise when they do, just laughable/sad when they don't.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by killjoe (766577)
      What's remarkable about this community is their lack of objection to their companies behavior. Clearly people who either agree with how their company behaves or maybe people who don't have a strong moral compass.
  • Despite the fact that there is little love for MS on /., we know that MS is a business and they will do whatever they can to continue to make money. The question should not be "is there something going on here?" but "What is MS up to, and how do they intend to increase profits with this move?"

    This might have two functions: stop people from using competitors DB products and allow those that want to use PostgreSQL to do so on MS platforms. It is more probably a monkey see, monkey do reaction to Oracle and oth
    • Other 'me too' attempts have not worked out very well for MS. Can you say Zune? Play for sure? etc.

      Sometimes they do OK. Can you say X Box? I do agree, that it is just OK and not the leader. Many of their other products can be listed as also ran.

      Has anyone seen the sales figures for the Zune online store?
  • by Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) on Monday February 26, 2007 @01:22AM (#18149298) Homepage

    So why is Microsoft promoting it?

    Because PostgreSQL isn't licenced under the GNU GPL.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by vladkrupin (44145)
      That is exactly what's going on. Non-GPL code can be easily embraced, extended, etc... you know the trick. GPL code is a much harder nut to crack. Many have tried to "get cute with the GPL" as PJ of Groklaw [groklaw.net] puts it, but none have succeeded. If you can marginalize the GPL, eliminating the non-GPL competition by embracing, extending, extinguishing is a much easier task. GPL is their only threat, really.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by javilon (99157)
        "Many have tried to "get cute with the GPL" as PJ of Groklaw puts it, but none have succeeded."

        Well, the jury is still out on the Microsoft-Novell deal.
      • Non-GPL code can be easily embraced, extended, etc... you know the trick.

        Yet it hasn't happened yet. Your warning has been shouted from the mountain tops in some form or another for over twenty years. Yet it hasn't happened yet. Python, Apache, FreeBSD, Postres, Xorg, etc, have not been taken over by Microsoft. They have not been embraced, extended and extinguished. Nor is it likely they ever will be.

        Stop obsessing on a horrible future that will never arrive, and live in the present instead. The nature of F
    • Because PostgreSQL isn't licenced under the GNU GPL.

      Unless MS is coming out with MS-Postgre++, I don't see how that matters much.
  • software that runs on their platforms. Keep in mind, that Linux is causing MS LOADS of headaches in the server world. More importantly, if the Windows/Office monopoly can be broken, then Apple and Linux can grow QUICKLY. The best thing going for MS is that Gnome, and shortly KDE, run on MS. OTH, much of Windows based software does not run on Linux. Makes it hard for companies to move over.
    • The best thing going for MS is that Gnome, and shortly KDE, run on MS.

      Well embracing 'free' software is a double edged sword for MS. In the short term people stay with Windows but ultimately provides a migration path:

      • It helps the portability of GTK+ (gnome) and Qt4 (KDE) by exposing dependencies on X11, glibc and various Linuxisms that have crept into the codebase. (Porting to other Unix variants and architectures helps no doubt, too).
      • It increases adoption of free software. If KOffice runs seamlessly
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Maybe they beleive they have a solid case that postgressql infringes on their patents. They want more companies using it (and to know who) so they know who they can take to court and extort some protection money.
    • by canuck57 (662392)

      Maybe they beleive they have a solid case that postgressql infringes on their patents. They want more companies using it (and to know who) so they know who they can take to court and extort some protection money.

      Maybe Microsoft planted the code in postgressql and now they want to spring a trap?

      Given Micro$oft history, certainly not impossible. Plenty of people would do a cvs commit for $10G under the table. Corporate style espionage. Microsoft is a beached whale threatening to sue it's customers. Lets

  • by pablodiazgutierrez (756813) on Monday February 26, 2007 @01:36AM (#18149376) Homepage
    Obviously, MS is interested in weakening the position of any competitor. In this case, Oracle is a bigger player in the databases market than MS ever dreamed to be. Therefore, helping PostgreSQL damages the competition more than it does damage MS itself, which is a win for them, in terms of market share and potential risks due to loss of control over that market. Kind of the same reason why IBM supports PostgreSQL and other OSS in detriment of its own products.
  • by Shiny One (983480) on Monday February 26, 2007 @01:55AM (#18149452)
    .. that didn't miss the most obvious comment.

    Embrace. <-- You are here
    Extend.
    Extinguish.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LordEd (840443)
      I thought that "its a trap" would be more obvious.

      In any case, this isn't a case of the 3e approach. All they did was install Postgres on windows and write up a step by step installation doc with a few tips discovered in the process. There is nothing on their interpretation of whether it is good or bad.
    • by canuck57 (662392)

      I thought Microsoft was at Extort, you are missing a few steps...

      Envy
      Embrace
      Extend
      Exacerbate
      Extinguish
      Extort - M$ is here
      Emplode

  • It's a trap !
  • Anti-Microsoft bandwagon. I'm seriously beginning to wonder if reading Slashdot makes any sense. It seems to be nothing more than a constant bash of Microsoft along with questionable articles about anything non-Microsoft. You claim to be a news source, but when you slant the news all the times you become a propoganda machine and not a news source. There is nothing wrong with sharing information about how to do something. Microsoft is merely showing people how to do something on their operating system.
  • by phantomfive (622387) on Monday February 26, 2007 @02:49AM (#18149738) Journal
    Nobody has mentioned it yet, so I'll throw in my two cents. Microsoft is not against open source at all, they actively encourage and even use it on occasion (the TCP stack in windows is famously known to be from BSD Unix). They are happy when people write code that they can use.

    Where they have the biggest problem is with GPL'd stuff, which they can't use at all. Of course in this particular situation there are other factors involved, but since they have been addressed by others, I will not repeat them here.
    • by Swordfish (86310) on Monday February 26, 2007 @03:34AM (#18149990) Homepage
      You're right. You beat me to the comment. Postgres is not a threat in the sense that MySQL is. Also MySQL takes money away from MS and puts it in their own bank account, whereas Postgres does not build up a cash-hoard that can be used against MS later. Postgres is really free, as opposed to GPL, which signifies ownership by "the community". A Few years ago, MS said very publically what their list of okay licences was. That list included BSD, but did not include GPL or the Artistic licence.
  • by floki (48060) on Monday February 26, 2007 @04:11AM (#18150180)
    Best part: "The install on Vista is similar to other Windows installs but to install on Vista, you must turn off User Account Control first." :-)
  • Maybe they're planning to stop supplying MS SQL Server but don't want to give revenue away to MySQL?

    No idea of the profit for SQL Server, but it would make sense to chop it if it didn't make the 20000% margin Office and Windows make.

    (/sarcasm)

  • Why? Because it IS NOT controlled by a company ala MySQL or Oracle.

    It's all about the money. Keeping it out of the hands of competitors and available to be spent on Microsoft products. While Microsoft would rather have you buy SQL Server than Oracle, they'd also rather you use Postgres than buy Oracle.
  • One of the design requirements for the new IIS7 is better support for PHP.

    http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2006/10/31/ PHP-and-the-FastCGI-Module-for-IIS-7.0.aspx [asp.net]

    Apparently competition sucks when Linux is on the trailing edge, eh?

Never test for an error condition you don't know how to handle. -- Steinbach

Working...