Microsoft and Google put down the swords to collaborate on open source projects

When Microsoft and Google are in the headlines, it is usually related to one of the companies tossing a bit of mud at the other in an attempt to make one look superior. Not today, though, as the two juggernauts are putting down their swords to work together to bring more open source projects to Azure.

One of the applications that is part of the project is Kubernetes, a declarative container management solution supporting orchestration and scheduling of Docker containers. This project was originally built for Google's Compute Engine but is now making its way over to Azure as well. Also part of the collaboration project is libswarm, a minimalist toolkit to orchestrate and compose network services for distributed systems.

Microsoft says that this initiative is part of its effort to supporting a wide range of operating systems, languages and services of any public cloud. Even though the division between Google and Microsoft will likely only grow larger as each company tries to take market share from one another, it is good to see that they are capable of putting business aside and coming together to work on projects that help out consumers.

You can head over the Microsoft's Azure blog to get more details about the collaboration at the source link below.

Source: Microsoft | Image Credit: Shutterstock - Upward Server

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Quick Microsoft, slice Google open with your sword while they have their guard down. Execute them Game Of Thrones style!

This isn't a surprise. Microsoft has read the writing on the wall and have decided to adapt. Their old business model is obsolete and dead. Windows 8 was far too polarizing and essentially killed their chance of maintaining their previous Windows cash cow long term.

The future for them is in Azure. They are going to pull back to being a cross platform service provider aiming to power services connecting everything. They will use Windows and their various platforms as a way of showcasing the power of Azure. Expect Windows to go entirely free within a release or two and possibly Open Source as well.

Microsoft knows if they can't get Azure tied into the backend of the new computing era they are going to be completely wiped out. The Desktop market isn't going to die, but I think it will move to *nix based systems like the rest of computing has. Open Sourcing it is probably the last thing MS can do to keep it from going extinct entirely.

I could expand on my viewpoint, but I'm writing too many long posts in the comments today.

Although I agree with most of your points what makes you think that a move to *nix based systems is going to happen? I find it extremely hard to believe Windows is going anywhere anytime soon. Most software is written for it and Windows Server is still doing extremely well and not really declining or anything. Yeah they goofed up with Windows 8 but sounds like they are on the right track to turning things back around with upcoming updates to it and Threshold. Care to elaborate?

I don't think a move to *nix on the Desktop is coming in the next year or two, but if the trends continue as is it will happen within 5 or so years. The main driving force is the mobile first trend and its pull on company resources and developer talent.

Organizations will either move applications into the web to enable them to target multiple devices in a mobile first manner due to device plurality or do native code for the top 1 or 2 platforms. There will be a strong push for what Microsoft is spearheading with Universal Apps the problem is the dominant platforms don't share their architecture so the pressure will be to enable cross device development on as close to one code base as possible without a dependency on Windows (due to the different APIs and architecture).

Essentially, I think the mobile first nature of new development and BYOD push will either push new development to Linux or convince MS to find a way to wrap Linux APIS in Windows (via an Open Source variation of Windows combining various parts of both).

This is long view... 5+ years out.

Obry said,
Although I agree with most of your points what makes you think that a move to *nix based systems is going to happen? I find it extremely hard to believe Windows is going anywhere anytime soon

I don't necessarily think he is right but who would have tought 10 years ago that the mobile market woul be lead by a nix OS? I think in the consumer non pro market the desktop computer will eventually be phased out and replaced by phones/media players, tablets/hybrid laptops, smart TVs and consoles/htpc. Save for hybrid laptops those are all markets Microsoft struggle or at the very best share with other companies.

I think it makes sense to offer services like Azure and apps like Office 365 for other platforms.

LogicalApex said,
Expect Windows to go entirely free within a release or two and possibly Open Source as well.

These two things will not happen. Please bookmark this page and come back in ten years. I'll have added a new post by then to basically say "See? I'm still right."

Going free probably not. But i could definately see it being sold for around 60$ (full version not upgrade).

Edited by LaP, Jul 10 2014, 8:18pm :

Joshie said,

These two things will not happen. Please bookmark this page and come back in ten years. I'll have added a new post by then to basically say "See? I'm still right."

I won't come back to say "I told you so" as I find that sort of stuff to not be my style, but it is the most likely course of action in the market climate MS is in. As I said earlier, Windows free on devices 9" and lower is enough to prove my point... I'll expand a little bit.

I have spoken to various MS devs and they have all confirmed to me that Windows free for devices with a screen of 9" and lower means literally that. Want to use Windows to power an embedded system like a Nest thermostat? Free. Want to embed Windows into a washer with Internet connectivity and using C#? Free. This is the fastest growing device segment with almost everything being thrown onto the Internet. Microsoft is giving Windows so this market and cancelling any revenue they had for their embedded systems licenses. They are giving this away hoping that the developers will then tie into Azure to power the connectivity those devices will have.

This is a precursor to giving Windows away free on devices of all levels IMHO. As MS is showing that they no longer see Windows licensing as a safe cash cow. In a shrinking market where they are under pressure to lower licensing fees they can't hope to see strong growth in Windows revenue. This is driving this.

Microsoft either needs to power the backend of everything or become their own hardware vendor like Apple. The latter choice will help in the short term, but fix nothing long term.

That is enough from me today.

Joshie said,
These two things will not happen. Please bookmark this page and come back in ten years. I'll have added a new post by then to basically say "See? I'm still right."

Jeez man, you're worse than my ex... :|

Joshie said,

Oh I'm sure I'm better at a few things. ;)

Like math.

What makes you assume you're better at math? Very strange choice of an example...

Unless you're a Fields Medal recipient.

I don't know why google should help Microsoft advancing their cloud platform which is google's cloud closest competitor? unless they want to put some trojan horse in those azure services?

It's likely that the effort to make Kubernetes and libswarm work with Azure will bring portability benefits to Google as well. I suspect that Microsoft will be doing the graft of actually getting the stuff to work with Azure, whereas Google will be offering support where it's needed as they will have deep knowledge of how this stuff works.

Majesticmerc said,
It's likely that the effort to make Kubernetes and libswarm work with Azure will bring portability benefits to Google as well. I suspect that Microsoft will be doing the graft of actually getting the stuff to work with Azure, whereas Google will be offering support where it's needed as they will have deep knowledge of how this stuff works.

Microsoft has long had "coopertition," the business version of "frenemies." Sony and Apple are two examples. Compete where it makes sense, cooperate where it makes sense, go from there.