June 6th, 2005, 21:21
Slashdot had a link to this story ( http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=technologyNews&storyID=2005-06-06T114134Z_01_L06498997_RTRIDST_0_TECH-TECH-EU-MICROSOFT-DC.XML ) which relates some details on a European Union court ordering Microsoft to make code available to allow other server and client software to be interoperable with Microsoft products. If Microsoft complies they can avoid paying a $5 million a day fine, however, there is currently some squabbling caused by Microsoft's insistence that their code not be used in open source projects. If the court prevails in this argument I wonder what this could mean for projects like Samba and Samba-tng. Any possibility of them finally be able to function as full domain controllers within Active Directory? Does anybody have some thoughts on this?

June 7th, 2005, 09:46
You have to wonder which of the following would cost them more in the long run.

1. Just pay the fines and don't give an inch.
2. Stop selling in the EU.
3. Open up the code for interoperability and watch the flood of people migrate to cheaper options.

There's a fine line here in making Microsoft play nice and hurting their legitimate business. They could have played a little nicer in the past but now it looks like more drastic measures could happen.

I'd love to see the full AD/DFS/etc. functionality available in the Samba. They have been making good progress and have been putting more and more of the pieces together. I've been doing more and more integration with FreeBSD and OS X into the AD domain at work. The more I can integrate this, the less objections my boss has about using non-Microsoft so I see this as a good thing.

June 7th, 2005, 12:35
To be honest I don't think giving up the code would hurt Microsoft's business. If anything I think it would cement their role as the de facto standard for general client and server software communications. Active Directory really is not that bad an NDS and if Microsoft opened it up it would make all the information that can potentially be stored within Active Directory that much more valuable and you would probably find tons of Open Source project that can leverage that information in creative ways that make it inherently more valuable than anything Microsoft could possibly come up with on its own. It's like comparing the value of a telephone when only a million people have one, versus when a billion people have one (not necessarily an accurate analogy but it does demonstrate the exponential effects of something reaching a certain level of market penetration as a standard). It goes from being a luxury to a necessity overnight and Microsoft will inevitably reap rewards from that. Obviously some people will use Samba servers whereever they can(myself included), but it won't be a majority. The majority will still buy from Microsoft and more and more people will upgrade from NT and Novell networks and other solutions to gain as the benefits of the new standard become more and more apparent.

June 9th, 2005, 01:33
Just in case someone other than myself is reading this with interest here is a post on Slashdot from today that more specifically addresses my concerns about how this ruling effects Samaba ( http://developers.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/06/08/1854229&from=rss ). It looks like Microsoft is more than willing to fight tooth and nail to make sure this ruling doesn't breathe any life into its competitor Samba. I really would like to see what Microsoft's legal bills are. They have got to be higher than any amount of money they are losing that would go to Samba. Besides as I posted earlier it just cements them as the standard bearers for the whole market and once something is a universal standard it is inherently more valuable to develop software that makes use of that standard. Does anybody disagree with me? I mean I think Microsoft's legal team is its little internal monster that just continues to get bigger all the time and I'm sure it's always looking for more lawsuits to file. I guess that's what lawyers do. But if Microsoft wasn't having to deal with all this anti-trust stuff think how much they would saving not just on legal fees but on all the fines that have been levelled against them both hear and in the states. Anyway...we'll see what happens here. Should be interesting.

June 9th, 2005, 11:47
I love how Microsoft's consession is that they'll comply except for the people that could use it most. If they could pull that off then it would turn the punishment into a huge reward for them.