Microsoft Likes Unix?

    September 12, 2005

The news from Microsoft is that they will be putting more Unix features into their server offerings according to…

ZDNet and other places.

They say “the goal is to support customers with mixed Windows and Unix setups as well as those looking to bring their Unix programs onto Windows.”

Yeah. The goal is to make their crap work.

And in spite my use of a pejorative there, I don’t see that as an entirely bad thing. As much as I’d like to see Microsoft crumble and fall into ignominy (I’m not holding my breath), while we’re waiting for that to happen we do need to use their stuff now and then. The more Unixy it becomes, the less distasteful and difficult that will be.

Not that I have much hope they won’t screw it up. Look at the disgusting mess they created in response to customer demands for a better command line shell. If they approach other Unix features with the same stupidity, their servers will be a clumsy griffin that no one will like. We won’t like it because they screwed up the Unix parts and the Windows folks will hate it because it isn’t Windows and hasn’t Microsoft always told us how much Unix bites? Well, no, not always – there was a time when Microsoft thought Unix was the way to go, but few Windows folks remember that far back.

As our kids used to say, Microsoft, it must suck being you. You’ve once again put your foot in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t position. Good luck with this mess.

*Originally published at

A.P. Lawrence provides SCO Unix and Linux consulting services