Actually, I am from just across the Mississippi river in Alton, Illinois. But being so close to Missouri the “Show me” skeptical attitude rubbed off. And I am skeptical about any parnership with 1 Microsoft Way. Simply because Redmond has proved time after time to be inconstant, changeable, fair-weather friend, fickle, and machiavellian opportunistic – just as Burst, Sendo, IBM, Sybase and many, many others have all learned to their regret. Take Sybase.

Sybase and Microsoft signed a joint agreement in 1988 to develop Sybase SQL Server for OS/2 and Windows NT. Sybase SQL Server was an enterprise caliber database which had pioneered stored procedures and some other nifty client-server functionality. At this time Microsoft had been spectacularly unsuccesful in cracking into the database market with Omega and other fall shorts both on the desktop and on the server side. Now in 1988 Microsoft was already having a rocky relationship with IBM and was two years away from breaking up – and taking their portion of “the joint venture with IBM” and bringing it to Windows and Windows NT.

Within two years, history repeated itself – except this time Microsoft had managed to legally wrangle the exclusive rights to SQL Server, an enterprise caliber database, for use on Windows NT (its answer to OS/2) and the basis for current Windows Server technology. It appears to be a case of Microsoft getting Sybase to open the kimono and then Redmond light fingering in to swindle, finagle, swipe, or otherwise glom and filch Sybase enterprise database technology to go with the glommed, finagled, and swiped technology garnered from IBM on the server side. Two years later Microsoft even had exclusive use of the name SQL Server. Talk about Chutzpah …

Now I am sure the troopers from Redmond have a different view of circumstances and they are invited in the comments section below to add their version of events – or point to “Get the Facts on Linux …. ooops … no , wait a minute …. thats OS/2 and SQL Server” that will, for sure, set the record straight. I think they are currently working on rewriting the History Files

Microsoft Co-operating: Means Check Your Pockets

Well now Microsoft is co-operating to get its MOM 2005 – Microsoft Operation Management software out the door. Its taken a minority investment position in Vintela which will bring MOM 2005 capabilities to the Linux and Unix platforms. And lo and behold, its partnering with Sybase to do the same plus added SMS 2003 (System management Server) to Palm, Symbian, RIM, Pocket PC, Windows CE and …. ohh “legacy” Windows 98/ME platforms. Analysts see it as a positive sign of co-operation from Microsoft. This party sees it as just a temporay phase, much like Microsofts support for XML standards in the early 2000-2002 time frame because it desperately needed XML Web Services to succeed – otherwise it had no viable distributed software strategy. Now that Web Services is well launched, Microsoft is starting to back away from XML standards big time – no XSLT 2, XPath 2, SVG, SMIL, and its XAML (not XUL, MXML, LZX or anything else W3C might come up with). And as for W3C requests for a patent free XML and web standards arena – its a “no cigar” from Redmond.

Well in the Management of Systems field, Microsoft is again in desperate straights – it has virtually no way to let Windows Server and MOM/SMS users monitor and control on other platforms effectively. This could provide an invasive advantage to Linux on-demand software to control things on Windows because MOM/SMS is a non starter versus Tivoli, TNG, and other management tools – especially in cross platform capabilities. So as the analysts rejoice at Microsoft “embracing rivals” – this party is waiting for the sucker punch. And its shame on Sybase if they let it happen a second time.


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