Sun and Microsoft make cases to Linux developers

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Sun and Microsoft make cases to Linux developers

Advocates for the three major enterprise operating systems traded barbs and made an uneasy peace at a special event in San Francisco on Wednesday.

Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, Ian Murdock, vice president of developer and community marketing at Sun Microsystems, and Sam Ramji, director of platform strategy at Microsoft, all made cases for their respective platforms in front of delegates at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit.

The debate was at times contentious, but all three panellists were able to find common ground on a number of areas, such as interoperability.

All three stressed the need for allowing their products to work together.

"The days of wrapping everything in a ball are over, thanks to open source," said Murdock. "Our customers want to take their preferred business technology and slot it in here, or they want to take an open source technology and slot it in there."

Ramji was grilled by audience members over Microsoft's stance on patent sharing and past comments from Microsoft executives regarding the security and cost of Linux systems.

Ramji admitted to being less than pleased with some of Microsoft's previous campaigns around open source, and promised to be more receptive to Linux developers. He asked developers to bring licensing issues to the company's attention.

Although the exchanges were at times heated, the panel ended with each side making peace - to some extent.

"Where we can be more clear with each other, let's do it," proposed Zemlin. "If we are going to compete, it is important that we retain an open dialogue."

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