18 November 2010

Microsoft: "Linux at the End of its Life Cycle"

Regular readers of this blog will know that I've tracked the rather painful history of attempts to increase the deployment of free software in Russia, notably in its schools. Well, that saga continues, it seems, with doubts being expressed about the creation of a Russian national operating system based on GNU/Linux:

Иногда приходится слышать, что идея национальной программной платформы содержит в себе логическое противоречие. Ведь если такая платформа действительно будет создаваться на базе СПО, то такое программное обеспечение будет более чем на 90% произведено не в России, а за рубежом. Соответственно, и НПП у нас получится, скорее, какая-нибудь американо-германо-индийская, а не российская.

[Google Translate: Sometimes we hear that the idea of a national software platform contains a logical contradiction. After all, if this platform really will be created based on the ACT, then this software will be more than 90% are not produced in Russia and abroad. Accordingly, the NPP, we will, more likely, some kind of US-German-Indian, not Russian.]

That story will doubtless run and run. But what interested me was the accompanying quote from Nikolai Pryanishnikov, president of Microsoft in Russia; it's a corker:

"Компания Microsoft выступает за технологическую нейтральность и считает, что выбор ОС должен быть обусловлен исключительно качествами самой ОС, ее экономической эффективностью, стоящими практическими задачами, безопасностью, а не идеологическими соображениями.

С нашей точки зрения, наиболее эффективным для развития инновационной экономики в стране представляется не создание аналога существующих ОС, на что уйдут огромные средства и много времени, а взяв за основу наиболее распространенную ОС, проверенную российскими спецслужбами, создавать собственные приложения и решения, вкладывая при этом средства в перспективные научные российские разработки. Нужно иметь в виду, что Linux не является российской ОС и, кроме того, находится в конце своего жизненного цикла".

[Google Translate: "Microsoft supports technological neutrality and considers that the choice of OS should be caused solely as the greatest operating system, its economic efficiency, standing practical problems, safety, rather than ideological considerations.

From our point of view, the most effective for the development of an innovative economy in the country seems not to create an analogue of the existing OS, which will take huge amounts of money and time, and taking as basis the most popular operating systems, proven by Russian security services, to create custom applications and solutions, investing in this funds in promising scientific Russian developments. We must bear in mind that Linux is not a Russian OS and, moreover, is at the end of its life cycle."]

The idea that "Linux is at the end of its life cycle" is rather rich coming from the vendor of a platform that is increasingly losing market share, both at the top and bottom end of the market, while Linux just gets stronger. I'd wager that variants of Linux will be around rather longer than Windows.

Update: the Russian publication CNews Open, from which the story above was taken, points out that Russia is aiming to create a national software platform, not a national operating system. Quite what this means seems to be somewhat unclear:

даже российским участникам сообщества сегодня по-прежнему трудно понять, что конкретно представляет собой российская национальная программная платформа

[Google Translate: even the Russian participants of the community today is still difficult to understand exactly what constitutes Russia's national software platform.]

Let's hope things become a little clearer in due course: with its wealth of top-class programmers, Russia has the potential to become a key player the free software world.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca.

32 comments:

Equitas said...

"Linux is not a Russian OS..."

And Windows is? This is as bad as the Polish MS photoshopping fiasco

glyn moody said...

@Equitas: it's pretty extraordinary, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

He wanted publicity...and he got it. That is all counts.

glyn moody said...

I'm not so sure: it was a fairly low-key piece. I think it was probably off the cuff, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be examined...

Tucanae Services said...

Microsoft has never been a company known for, shall we say subtlety. The more brazen it is generally the more they like it. So statements like the above by the MS Russian Rep is more the norm for them. Fact this fella is tame compared to MS's South American VP.

As to Linux end of life. Heh. Please lets keep it all between ourselves ok? We don't want to scare away all those quarter million a month Android cellphone buys in the North American market.....

glyn moody said...

@Tucanae Services: what did the South American VP say? Do you have a link to it, please - sounds interesting?

Anonymous said...

Wow where to start...

"Microsoft supports technological neutrality" Like the intentional ODF sabotage in Excel? The half-baked community promise regarding C#? The failed attempt at making the Internet work the "IE6 way"?

"and considers that the choice of OS should be caused solely as the greatest operating system, its economic efficiency, standing practical problems, safety, rather than ideological considerations." Awesome! Where can I get a notebook from a major OEM with the OS of my choice preloaded or at least a blank harddrive so I don't have to pay for software I don't need nor want?

"the most effective for the development of an innovative economy in the country seems not to create an analogue of the existing OS, which will take huge amounts of money and time" Erm the opensource development model aims at addressing, among other things, both time and cost requirements...

"and taking as basis the most popular operating systems, proven by Russian security services" proven by Russian security services to be what, the Swiss cheese equivalent of computer security?

"We must bear in mind that Linux is not a Russian OS" Well nope, it's a kernel, which you can actually build upon to effectively create an OS as Russian as you want it to be.

Did that guy really spit up all that with a straight face?

Bleh, I'm prolly only preaching to the choir about the same old nonsense from a trained MS drone :(

glyn moody said...

Well, yes, that is a problem; but we all feel better getting it off our chests....

Polyorchnid Octopunch said...

Of course he spit it up with a straight face... "I'm an MBA, Jim, not an engineer, dammit!"

PV said...

@Anonymous:
1. The Internet DOES work the IE6 way, unfortunately. That's why it's going to stick around for far longer than even Microsoft would like.
2. Of course it's an ideology - except when it's Microsoft's ideology, in which case it's an "industry standard" that's "good for businesses".
3. In Soviet Russia, OS run YOU!!

Anonymous said...

If Linux is at it's end of life so if Windows. Both are based on older systems UNIX and VMS and both use similar metaphors and ideas.
Honestly if Microsoft had a new product that made both Windows and Linux look dated I might be interested, but if Linux is at the end of it's life so is windows

Anonymous said...

>And Windows is? This is as bad as th
>Polish MS photoshopping fiasco

Oh please, do STFU.

First of all, ITS NOTHING like your example.
Secondly, your example is an example of kneejerk liberalism where you see racism in everything.
THere arent many blacks in Poland. Some students, some diplomats, some business... in big cities. But seeing an ad with a black person in Poland says its a foreign ad and that they just changed the text.

Had this happened in England or France, I would have said you might have something but having travelled in Poland, Russia and Ukraine, the ad would have looked out of place/imported.

Im half Polish/ half mexican Canadian.

And even if what you repeat like a parrot was true, it probably had more to do with the 3rd rate PR firm they hired rather than something you can pin on someone at Redmond.

Maybe Im a bit cranky at reading reams of american mainstream rags attacking Truffault recently because of his crimes of supporting Palestine.
Nothing stops discourse like cries of racist/anti-zionist...
Getting called a pedophile wont ruin your image as much.

Anonymous said...

Of course Linux isn't a Russian OS. Linux isn't an OS at all, it's a kernel. Surely, Microsoft must know the difference between a kernel and an OS.

That's really funny, since Microsoft has been trying to play catch-up with Linux distributions (specifically, the KDE desktop) and open source software in general in years and Linux distributions are on the rise, while Microsoft's Windows is in a decline. Maybe a more correct statement would be that Windows is at the end of its life cycle.

Anonymous said...

Heh. Wish I was there.. With a gun :)

nagos said...

Translation correctios:
First part:
Russian "СПО" is acronym of "Free software". (google say "ACT")

"НПП" - National Software Platform ("Национальаная Программная Платформа), name of russian linux system.

glyn moody said...

@nagos: thanks for the corrections. My policy is to use Google Translate and leave in the errors, so it represents a "pure" machine translate, rather me interfering (and then getting it wrong).

I was aware of the first acronym, but not the second - thanks.

Anonymous said...

This just brain washed man is trying to фак with your mind. Just ignore him. He is either an idiot or an asshole.

apexwm said...

Microsoft can say "the sky is pink", so what. The reason Microsoft likes to smugly put out comments like this about Linux, is because Linux is eating away at Microsoft in the server market at a rapid pace, and very very slowly in the desktop market (along with Apple and others).

Anonymous said...

Short of some kind of law which hinder or prohibit open-source design, linux will never come to an end... only get better.

although, i remember the rumors about how M$ was going to attempt making vista incompatible with linux ... maybe they're back to that?

Anonymous said...

@anonymous nah, he's just a bloke doing his job. Agree that there are more important things to worry about than his comments. Moving on ...

Anonymous said...

Some explanation for the abbreviations in the 1st quote from native Russian speaker:

СПО(ACT) = Свободное программное обеспечение = Free software

НПП(NPP) = Национальная программная платформа = National software platform

glyn moody said...

Thanks all for the comments.

Bernard Swiss said...

This is just an early test of some new MS "framing".

The unspoken implication is something along the lines of:

"Now that XP and Vista have finally been superseded by a reasonably good MS product (that is, by Windows 7) Linux has become merely an obsolete alternative to Windows XP -- also at the end of its life cycle -- so no one needs it any more, and in fact, those still using it should prepare to move on."

If this, cleverer than usual, MS FUD gains any traction, expect to see it a lot more, as they ring the changes and tune it up for maximum effectiveness...

glyn moody said...

@Bernard: yes, that was something that occurred to me - is this the start of a new phase of FUD?

lamapper said...

No worries, Microsoft is still busy stealing ideas for their outdated software from Linus, so not even they want Linux to die yet.

Zafer Ali said...

indeed No! Linux will never die! Where did gates got the assembly code running, From linux! The worlds 75% server runs on LINUX not on windows, People can say, whatever they can, but fact still remains!
server-management

Jacopo Prendin said...

It's true Linux desktop isn't widespread as Windows. But from a high manager as mr. Pryanishnikov I would expect a more refined statement. In servers, embeded devices and mobile phones, GNU/Linux is a player to face with attention, not with some declarations without real datas.

glyn moody said...

@Jacopo - yes, I thought it was rather a foolish thing to say in that regard...

Ranjith.siji said...

I still believes in Ubuntu's First Bug on Launchpad. From super computers to mobile phones. The Render wall of Avatar. Google's Database. Here in Kerala Our schools std5 to std10 students studying Ubuntu.

glyn moody said...

@Ranjith: indeed - thanks.

Anonymous said...

Surely micros afraid of GNU/Linux and open source softwares.

Is any one knows about windows core and which programming lang and tools they r using.
No idea.

glyn moody said...

well, some more thoughts on Microsoft here:

http://www.h-online.com/open/features/Solving-Microsoft-s-hard-problem-1322405.html