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How Microsoft-Yahoo Will Affect Open Source 287

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the something-to-think-about dept.
jammag writes "If the marriage of Microsoft and Yahoo were to be consummated, GNU/Linux would be hindered, argues Roy Schestowitz. Yahoo's funding of open source initiatives would dry up. Yahoo, which acquired Zimbra, would lose its love for the open source competitor of Microsoft Outlook. The list goes on..."
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How Microsoft-Yahoo Will Affect Open Source

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2008 @03:41PM (#22295900)
    All the more reason why this deal should NOT go through....Anti-Competitive ? I think Microsoft would axe Zimbra in a heart beat.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "All the more reason why this deal should NOT go through..."

      Maybe the deal should go forward. If the predictions of yet another Microsoft failed attempt come true, then I wouldn't cry a single tear for their $45Bn outlay.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by renegadesx (977007)

      I think Microsoft would axe Zimbra in a heart beat.

      Yes they will, personally for me its care factor = 0. Thats the beauty of open source, you KNOW it will just get forked and the fork will basically be the successor. Look what happened to Mambo/Joomla for far less than axing it.

      For the web browser compatibility, I dont know. From what I've tested, Firefox/Linux works better on Microsoft sites than Yahoo so somehow I dont see it getting worse
      In the search market a combined search engine between the two still wont knock off Google as the "search ki

  • Ok by me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Monday February 04, 2008 @03:43PM (#22295918) Journal
    I'll be over here using Thunderbird/Icedove. Seriously, I can't remember the last time I used any Yahoo service or product. If Yahoo disappeared from the internet forever, I don't think I'd even notice. What does Yahoo even do that people find valuable anymore?
    • by sodul (833177) on Monday February 04, 2008 @03:53PM (#22296112) Homepage
      ping yahoo.com

      I don't know why but I always ping yahoo to troubleshoot my network connection. I guess I'll have to switch to ping 'google.com'

    • Re:Ok by me (Score:4, Informative)

      by neumayr (819083) on Monday February 04, 2008 @04:01PM (#22296332)
      There's this little photo sharing site... flickr I think it's called.
      Heard it's still pretty popular.
      And a social bookmarking site, del.icio.us.
    • Re:Ok by me (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jmcbain (1233044) on Monday February 04, 2008 @04:23PM (#22296722)
      Yahoo finance.
      Yahoo sports.
      Yahoo news.
      Yahoo movies.
      Yahoo TV.
      Yahoo weather.
      Flickr (I don't use it though)
      Delicious.
      Yahoo Answers.
      Yahoo maps.

      Funny how these appeal to 500M unique visitors each month but not to you. I think it's because Yahoo targets a specific demographic, normal humans, rather than the the 30-year-old burnt-out techies on /. or the 19-year-old college students on Digg or the who-knows perverts on 4chan.

      • Re:Ok by me (Score:5, Funny)

        by jaxtherat (1165473) on Monday February 04, 2008 @04:56PM (#22297348) Homepage

        rather than the the 30-year-old burnt-out techies on /. or the 19-year-old college students on Digg or the who-knows perverts on 4chan.
        You say it like it's a bad thing...
      • by jedidiah (1196)
        I dunno. I have used a number of these things since before Google came
        into being. Unfortunately, Yahoo decided to recently overhaul some of
        these sites and the result has been painful on non-ms browsers. So I
        have started slowly starting using competiting services.

        Yahoo is doing it's best to annoy the contientous web surfer.

        Admittedly, I may be out of touch with the sort of end user that will
        continually re-infect themselves with the same malware downloaded from
        the same questionable websites repeatedly despite
        • by phorest (877315)

          Unfortunately, Yahoo decided to recently overhaul some of these sites and the result has been painful on non-ms browsers.

          They cause pain equally. Besides totally blowing the TV listings, their my.yahoo.com webpages now are designed solely for widescreen monitors. Where it really lacks is on 800X600 and smaller.

          I must be out of touch too...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Frosty Piss (770223)

        ...500M unique visitors each month...
        500 million *unique* visitors *every* month? WOW!
    • I'm moderating a specialty (antique books of some kind) group on Yahoo Groups. I'd hate it see transformed the way hotmail transformed after Microsoft seized it (turned it into commercial manure, comparatively).
    • Re:Ok by me (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dpninerSLASH (969464) * on Monday February 04, 2008 @04:38PM (#22297020) Homepage
      Please forgive me if this reply is a bit off-topic.

      Firstly, I don't believe GNU/Linux development will be seriously hindered. It's long since reached a tipping point past which any major disruptions are unlikely.

      This might be a good time, however, for people to begin looking at some of the BSDs. Yes, I realize Yahoo! is a major BSD customer, and should this deal go through I can't see Microsoft permitting the existence of anything else on their servers. Still, the BSDs are also widely deployed, reliable, and many would argue that the BSD license is less encumbering. Also, it has a formal foundation and governance which effectively ensures it's survival.

      I've been an open source user/administrator now for over 12 years (12 w/ Linux, 11 w/ BSD) and am surprised at the relatively low uptake for this family of operating systems. In short, Linux ain't the only game in town.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nurb432 (527695)
      You may not directly use their 'services' but I think you would notice over time due to collateral damage to other seemingly untreated projects.

      One more step towards eradication of that pesky OSS movement.
    • I'll be over here using Thunderbird/Icedove. Seriously, I can't remember the last time I used any Yahoo service or product. If Yahoo disappeared from the internet forever, I don't think I'd even notice. What does Yahoo even do that people find valuable anymore?

      Your personal preferences != everyone else's personal preferences.

      I use Yahoo Mail flat out. I also use their weather service and movie guide to find out what's on locally. Struth, I nearly choked when I read your post.

    • by Fweeky (41046)
      You wouldn't notice Flickr disappearing? Yahoo Groups? Pipes? (at the very least I'd notice it not flooding us; running feed updates a6 60Hz is taking the piss a bit, guys) del.icio.us?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2008 @03:43PM (#22295922)
    I'm not sure I understand why this person's opinions are even relevant (obviously the submitter runs the site where this piece was published and needs the ad revenue, not that any normal person would bother submitting something like this to Slashdot). "...argues Roy Schestowitz"? As in "pursuant to the previous insightful and established opinion we've all come to expect from Roy Schestowitz"? Please.

    Roy Schestowitz is a non-entity who spends 18 hours a day crapflooding USENET [google.com] (just page back and see who posts there), Digg, Propeller and any number of social bookmarking and discussion websites. This, aside from running who knows how many attack blogs that target Novell, Xandros, Linspire and many others beg the question of whether this is just a lonely poor student with no life whatsoever or a very organized group of people with some serious corporate backing.

    Anyone deranged enough to post things like [digg.com] these [digg.com] should be, in my opinion, permanently ignored. The Microsoft-Yahoo merger needs to be analyzed from many angles by people who know what they're talking about, not by paid drones who regurgitate what they read in other blogs and are trying to make a name for themselves by disrupting communities to push their agendas.

    • by at_slashdot (674436) on Monday February 04, 2008 @03:53PM (#22296118)
      How about commenting the message not the person who brings it forth... does "ad hominem" sound like something you've heard before?
      • Besides, most of the people on slashdot, fit the description, flooding Internet with crap 18 hours/day, no personal life, etc.
      • by samjam (256347)
        ad hominem doesn't mean attacking the messenger it means an atack of the message that only the messenger recognizes as valid; I.e. its an attack to him and not to others; e.g.

        "that would mean there is no gods"

        Sam
        • No, that is not what `ad hominem' means. Just read the description on Wikipedia or on any decent book on logic.
        • Disclaimer: from Wikipedia (yeah, I just edited it...)

          "An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: "argument to the man", "argument against the man") consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim."

          So talking about the guy that he has no life and he spends 18 hours online is a clear ex
          • by samjam (256347)
            No it isn't, you misunderstood what you read on Wikipedia.

            Saying he spends 18 hours a day online is merely attacking the person.

            An ad hominem attack is to draw from the agument and its proposer an implication that the proposer cannot admit, thus forcing them to withdraw, even though observers can admit that implication.

            Read "The Art of Controversy" if you want to learn more.

            Sam
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by dedazo (737510)
        The first time I ran into this guy was a hack piece he published in his blog (and pushed to Digg, where I found it) about how Novell was on the brink of dying because there had been some internal staff reorganizations. The whole thing was weird, filled with factual inaccuracies and worded in a way that would make you believe that a mid-level manager leaving the company was some sort of proof that the patent deal with Microsoft (bad in itself but irrelevant in this case) was dispensing karma around Provo. He
      • by dkleinsc (563838)
        Grandparent isn't strictly making an ad hominem argument, because it doesn't say the article is wrong, it argues that the article should carry little to no weight because the author is not speaking as a valid authority on the subject.

        In other words, it's not "Communists think this, so it's wrong", it's "some random guy on a street corner said it, so it probably should be ignored".
        • Well yeah, but it's the fault of the slashdot guy who posted the summary, he shouldn't have mentioned any name, he should have said, somebody asked this and this, what do you think? Then people would have responded to the subject, few would have asked "who is that somebody, is he good enough to raise issues"
        • by jedidiah (1196)
          Ok so instead of making an ad hominem attack he is making an attack
          based on appeals to authority or rather the lack of same. So instead of
          employing one element of bad rhetoric, he is employing another.

          Anyone who is an "authority" would likely be legally bound to shut up
          about this subject.

          An idea can be evaluated regardless of whether or not you think the
          messenger would make Forrest Gump look like a Mensa chapter chairman.
    • Holy shit! (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I thought you were kidding about crap-flooding. This is his Google stats card:

      Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
      2006 155 407 917 368 1240 1611 1731 1860 1979 1395 1705 1781
      2007 2100 1910 2104 1847 1844 1430 1664 1462 1301 1034 1032 1038
      2008 1215


      1000 posts a month is about thirty a day. He's been doing _at least_ 30 USENET posts a day
    • by microbee (682094)
      This guy has no clue about open source anyway. I never heard Yahoo among the names who fund open source. So if we are going to lose a penny or two, fine with me.
    • My motto in life is "I don't care who you are, I care only about what you do." and translated to the inarwebs, "I don't care who you are, I only care what you say.". I try to dissociate the person from their message. It's called being open-minded.
  • Zimbra Admins (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Russianspi (1129469) on Monday February 04, 2008 @03:47PM (#22295996)
    Yeah, administrators of Zimbra based E-mail servers (like me) are starting to panic [zimbra.com] I think a Google bailout/business alliance could be, as one Zimbra developer described it, "manna from heaven".
    • Re:Zimbra Admins (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Dancindan84 (1056246) on Monday February 04, 2008 @03:57PM (#22296212)
      Quote from a Zimbra employee in that thread:

      The OSS version of Zimbra is just that, Open Source. Whatever happens there should be no change in that status.
      The joy of OSS is that if Microsoft/Yahoo discontinue support of Zimbra, someone else can pick it up. If there's a paid "corporate" version, I'm sure a company picking up would include support to migrate. I know that isn't ideal, but it isn't a reason for mass panic either.
      • by Angostura (703910)
        However, however... much of what makes Zimbra interesting to enterprises is held in the Network Edition, which includes large amounts of closed code. For example our company uses a Zimbra hosted service and I usethe Zimbra iSync connector to sync shared calendars on the network with iCal on my machine. There are a quite a few additional components like this which are not open.
      • Re:Zimbra Admins (Score:5, Interesting)

        by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Monday February 04, 2008 @04:26PM (#22296808) Homepage Journal

        The OSS version of Zimbra is just that, Open Source. Whatever happens there should be no change in that status.
        Unfortunately it's not true open source, as it has an obnoxious "badgeware" clause.

        Zimbra users already seem to be sending out some feelers -- over at the Citadel [citadel.org] project we've had quite a surge of new interest from people who are either bailing out of Zimbra or simply evaluating what other options they might have when Microsoft shuts them down. Citadel is end-to-end GPL code so it is a true safety net.
      • Re:Zimbra Admins (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jimicus (737525) on Monday February 04, 2008 @04:27PM (#22296832)
        The joy of OSS is that if Microsoft/Yahoo discontinue support of Zimbra, someone else can pick it up. If there's a paid "corporate" version, I'm sure a company picking up would include support to migrate. I know that isn't ideal, but it isn't a reason for mass panic either.

        To be fair, I don't know much about Zimbra, but many opensource projects (including some reasonably big ones) are only really well understood at a code level by a relatively small team of people.

        If most or all of those people are employed by Yahoo, then even if someone else does pick up the Zimbra project this is a major setback.
      • My recollection is that Zimbra has some very funky goings-ons in their licensing, and I'm not sure if "Freedom to Fork" is preserved in a reasonable way. (A license that forces derivatives to show their trademarked logo?) Therefore, I have never considered deploying Zimbra on the principle that in event of Zimbra's failure that a knowledge-vacuum would cause other firms to pick up the product.

        Plus many of the modules that makes Zimbra actually useful are closed source.

        For now I'd rather deploy Citadel ( htt [citadel.org]
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by risk one (1013529)

        It might even be a good thing. These open/closed source combo's tend to have a very user-unfriendly open source version with plenty of annoyances, and a lovely smoothed out closed version. I don't know how they do it, but the open source devs never seem to focus on features that would make the closed version obsolete.

        Now, if MS would force Zimbra to alienate the OS community (which they will by just attaching their name to it) the whole thing would get forked in a second into a pure open source project. G

    • Yeah, administrators of Zimbra based E-mail servers (like me) are starting to panic [zimbra.com] I think a Google bailout/business alliance could be, as one Zimbra developer described it, "manna from heaven".

      I think that, even if anti-trust authorities agree to this merger, they should make a requirement that Zimbra be spun off or sold. To let Microsoft own Zimbra is extremely anti-competitive, in fact, I can't think of anything more anti-competitive than that.

      Yes, Zimbra is a tiny part of Yahoo and not the focus of this deal, but that just makes requiring Zimbra to be spun off a more reasonable requirement.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by dilger (1646)
      "Microsoft Zimbra" makes perfect sense. Worst. Webmail. Ever.
  • Ok, so.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Monday February 04, 2008 @03:52PM (#22296094) Homepage
    I don't understand how it would effect Linux (much less the GNU utilities), but it might slow down a few Y! projects. These projects, even if MS succeeds and stops all development on them, will still be continued if someone in the community thinks they are useful. That's the beauty of Open Source.
    • Like real journalists, the bloggy type also try look for new angles on any news story... any way to spin the news into something a bit different.

      Of course it does not really matter to GNU/Linux. Don't let fact get in the way of a good story!

  • by linumax (910946) on Monday February 04, 2008 @03:52PM (#22296098)
    BSD is dead, Roy Schestowitz confirms it!
  • by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Monday February 04, 2008 @03:54PM (#22296152) Homepage Journal
    So much for the cathedral and the bazaar.

    Alas, as Linux has gotten bigger and more complex, it is also requiring more capital to sustain itself as well, and capital means corporate funding. How ironic that the bazaar has grown to becoming a sprawling, flopping, traffic jammed, flea market, and suddenly key parts of the bazaar are suspiciously looking rather cathedral like (FireFox, the kernel).

    I predict that within a few years, Linux will grow to the point that its advocates will quietly abandon the collaborative, libertarian rhetoric that drove it early on, and instead turn more towards a quest for government funding along the lines of National Public Radio. It will continually seek corporate sponsorship, even as it decries their existence.

    • by multisync (218450) on Monday February 04, 2008 @04:24PM (#22296746) Journal

      Alas, as Linux has gotten bigger and more complex, it is also requiring more capital to sustain itself as well, and capital means corporate funding ... I predict that within a few years, Linux will grow to the point that its advocates will quietly abandon the collaborative, libertarian rhetoric that drove it early on


      I think it is great that we have the choice to go with a corporate-backed distro such as Red Hat or Novell if we need the support or enterprise features they offer, while still being able to choose a community-backed, "free" in every sense of the word distro like Debian if that is what suits us. The very existence of choice is the success of free and open source software.

      I predict that the bazaar will continue to grow and expand and cater to all kinds of needs and tastes in the future. That really is the benefit of FOSS, isn't it? The freedom to choose (and use) the software that suits our needs, rather than being forced to take what the silo masters are pushing.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tjstork (137384)
        I predict that the bazaar will continue to grow and expand and cater to all kinds of needs and tastes in the future. That really is the benefit of FOSS, isn't it? The freedom to choose (and use) the software that suits our needs, rather than being forced to take what the silo masters are pushing.

        Well I think its super, actually. I think some people can confuse FOSS with anti-corporatism, and certainly, there's those that would and on both sides of the boring old aisle. But I think really that the whole th
    • by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Monday February 04, 2008 @04:44PM (#22297140) Homepage

      How ironic that the bazaar has grown to becoming a sprawling, flopping, traffic jammed, flea market,
      You have never been to bazaar, have you?

    • by Xtifr (1323)
      Huh? What are you on about? Have you even read tCatB? How is the Linux project (Raymond's canonical bazaar) becoming more like the GNU project (Raymond's canonical cathedral)? And what does capital/corporate funding have to do with any of that?

      Who is decrying what? That's the part I really don't understand. You seem to have this delusion that Free/Libre software is anti-corporate, which has never been even remotely true. Why would libertarians decry corporate sponsorship? And how on earth did you co
      • by tjstork (137384)
        Huh? What are you on about? Have you even read tCatB? How is the Linux project (Raymond's canonical bazaar) becoming more like the GNU project (Raymond's canonical cathedral)? And what does capital/corporate funding have to do with any of that?

        Key pieces of Linux are getting bigger and more complicated and more centrally organized. Linux is less of a cathedral and more of a mall with superstores. Look at KDE, Gnome, Firefox, etc, all are becoming more wide open, and ironically, the GNU project cathedral,
    • by FudRucker (866063)
      lets fork everything :p
  • One way or the other I hope this gets resolved fairly quickly. We've been evaluating Zimbra where I work (a couple thousand users) and are getting close to a decision to fully adopt it. If MS buys Yahoo we'll likely have to start all over again. The last thing we want to do is invest heavily in a technology that MS will likely squash.
  • by peter303 (12292)
    Is it called MicroHoo or YaSoft?
    • Microsoft will remain the same, however Yahoo! products will probably be tagged "Yahoo! a Microsoft company." or "${PRODUCT} by Microsoft"
      • by jo42 (227475)
        You mean: "${PRODUCT} forked up by Microsoft".
      • by xtracto (837672)
        Just take a look at the current branding

        MSN Hotmail, MSN Messenger, etc. I am sure it would be MSN Yahoo! or Microsoft Yahoo!
    • MShoo!



      (gezundheit)
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by nick.ian.k (987094)

      Is it called MicroHoo or YaSoft?

      It's up to the marketing folks to decide which is more beneficial - do that want to go with a name reminiscent of a pedophilic fetish for the nether regions of a sprightly lass, or a flaccid but sizable penis?

  • by kc2keo (694222) on Monday February 04, 2008 @03:59PM (#22296272) Homepage
    Should M$ aquire Yahoo! I sure hope my del.icio.us bookmarks will still be up and running. If so they better still work in FF/WindowsXP or FF/Kubuntu->Linux. Otherwise I'll just use the local FireFox bookmarks again. Backed up my bookmarks just in case... That would be a pretty big downer for my bookmarks to vanish or just stop working across different platforms...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TeamSPAM (166583)

      Well, you do have the option to export your bookmarks from del.icio.us. I do it on a regular basis as I have some perl script to work with the data. The bookmarks are yours, just make sure you have a backup if your access to it goes away.

  • Microsoft 2.0 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by writerjosh (862522) * on Monday February 04, 2008 @04:01PM (#22296328) Homepage
    Microsoft's only options are to either open up widely to Open Source, or to crush Google with its proprietary products - which will never happen. This only leaves Microsoft one option: encourage/use Open Source or die. They're simply too far in the hole and their products are rapidly becoming obsolete from the POV of the average-Joe user.

    Absorbing Yahoo is going to be a mammoth task simply because of internal cultural differences, but trying to fight the tide of Open Source is a losing battle for Microsoft.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by samkass (174571)
      Not that I don't often find open source valuable and useful, but I don't see the trends you're talking about. There are very few open source products that are winning and/or dominant over their proprietary rivals. Google certainly has not gotten much adoption of their enterprise software-- they're still basically an advertising company. If Microsoft would accept that, and accept that Microsoft is NOT an advertising company, they could probably live together reasonably well.
      • Re:Microsoft 2.0 (Score:4, Informative)

        by molarmass192 (608071) on Monday February 04, 2008 @04:51PM (#22297274) Homepage Journal
        There are very few open source products that are winning and/or dominant over their proprietary rivals.

        Depends on your definition of "few". Apache, Eclipse, Linux, FreeBSD (as OS X), and Firefox are all winning (ie. increasing market share) or dominant (Apache / Eclipse) over their proprietary rivals. Other major open source products that have a marked impact on their segments include GCC, Tomcat, CVS, Subversion, Bugzilla, Struts, Hibernate, JBoss, MySQL, SQLite, and VLC.
      • Re:Microsoft 2.0 (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2008 @05:20PM (#22297832)

        There are very few open source products that are winning and/or dominant over their proprietary rivals.
        Open Standards: TCP/IP, HTTP, SMTP, IMAP, iCal
        Open Source: Apache, Tomcat, Linux (been in a server room lately?), MySQL, Perl, Python, Ruby, Rails, GNU Compiler Collection, Vim, Emacs, Netbeans, Solaris, Java, Glassfish, Sendmail, Postfix, Exim, OpenLDAP, ISC Bind.

        Look at all those loser applications. Give me a couple more minutes I might think of some more.

        Maybe you're stuck in an anachronistic office suite kind of existence, but few folks I know could care less about creating gratuitously formatted meeting minutes.

        I'm all for freedom, including your freedom to keep feeding your money to companies who do little more than capriciously alter their file formats and protocols on a semi-annual basis to compel otherwise useless upgrades. Of course, some folks just like to spend money to have shiny objects too. Fine with me, I do the same thing sometimes. Just remember, in a free market, victory goes to the most efficient and productive; and wasting money on services and software that have been commoditized is a loser.
  • by Robber Baron (112304) on Monday February 04, 2008 @04:05PM (#22296410) Homepage
    With the impending departure of Bill Gates, I think a new Microsoft story icon is in order.
    For that I don't think we need to go much further than the picture at the top of this story...

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/biztech/yahoo-bid-bad-news-for-the-net-says-google/2008/02/04/1201973796947.html [smh.com.au]
  • by Qbertino (265505) on Monday February 04, 2008 @04:13PM (#22296514)
    From what I can tell skimming the YPL it takes nothing more than setting up a Sourceforge Project to fork each of these products. It was only a few years ago when Push&Pull JavaScript and a few guys competing with Exchange with a Web ASP were nothing but a handfull of nutcases.
    Apart from the corporate fuled buzz Yahoo is putting behind YUI and the consited branding of Zimbra there is absolutely nothing for FOSS to lose with this MS-Yahoo deal. On the contrary. We're watching the evil empire blowing ca. 50 billion on a pipe dream about going head-to-head with Google in search. That's fine with me.
  • I bet google has a company-wide party the day msft acquires yhoo.

    Anybody, except for emotionally disturbed msft execs, can see that such a merger would weaken both companies: yhoo would suck even worse, and $20 billion in cash is not pocket change - even for msft.

    Can't Zimbra be forked?
  • by kbahey (102895) on Monday February 04, 2008 @04:16PM (#22296582) Homepage
    There are many implications for the proposed Microsoft/Yahoo merger [baheyeldin.com] for open source.

    Microsoft will not continue to run on an open source platform, like they did with Hotmail.

    - PHP: heavily used in Yahoo. Yahoo employs PHP founder and project lead Rasmus Lerdorf.
    - Apache: Yahoo uses Apache heavily, and has many patches and modules for it. IIS will replace it.
    - MySQL: likewise, they use it heavily. Expect MS-SQL in there.
    - FreeBSD and Linux: they use them a lot. Expect those to be turfed for Windows.
    - Yahoo YUI javascript library.

    Yahoo also hosts open source events (e.g. OSCMS: Open Source Content Management Systems back in March 2007).

    All the sponsorship money, paying salaries for open source leads, ...etc. will end.

    This is not good news at all.

    • That's an interesting list, thanks!

      I only want to add that a platform like Yahoo is running isn't converted to a Microsoft-based 'solution' in a single day.

      This does give the various projects and people some time to consider there options. Someone like Rasmus Lerdorf is not likely to give up his own project, just because the company he's working for is bought.

      I bet there are other companies, and not just Google, who might be very interested in having someone with his expertise onboard.. if only just to cla
      • by kbahey (102895)
        It would not be converted in a single day. Hotmail took a long time, and was plagued with problems. Yahoo is 50 times bigger, and will take a lot of effort and time.

        This is why it may be like the python swallowing the alligator and exploding. This kill Microsoft or severely damage it.

        I agree it will give people options.

        Side point: Google has no interest in PHP. They are largely a Python shop, and hence picking up Rasmus may not be feasible.

        Google buying Yahoo is another matter. It is better than MSFT doing
  • What a bad article (Score:5, Informative)

    by Asmodai (13932) on Monday February 04, 2008 @04:17PM (#22296600) Homepage
    This guy quotes how Yahoo takes pride in running FreeBSD...

    Running? Yahoo! is one of the largest infrastructure sponsors of the FreeBSD project and last time I checked even had people employed that are committers on the project. So yes, any take over of Yahoo! by Microsoft will no doubt put a huge dent into the FreeBSD Project's infrastructure that cannot easily be replaced in my opinion. So it's not just about running...
  • I have said it over and over again, let's fork Zimbra. Any [Zimbra] code we can lay our hands on should be forked...period...then we can debate what name we should call the product. I suggest "Zimbiya".
  • Not only does Yahoo servers run FreeBSD, Yahoo has core developers on it's pay role, and hosts the main WWW for FreeBSD.

  • It gets worse (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WindBourne (631190) on Monday February 04, 2008 @04:25PM (#22296788) Journal
    MS currently has 10% of the market share of the search engines. Yahoo has about 1/3. Google has about 50% or more. If MS aquires Yahoo, they will convert it instantly to being live.com and will exclude all Linux systems. My guess is that sites that use apache will slowly see their searches be pushed back further and further in the MS engine. IOW, this is designed not to just take on Google, but to move companies off of Apache as well as punish all those that are not using Windows.

    And to think that just recently MS was released from Federal oversight. All of this makes a good case for either FTC to step in or for either IBM or even Sun to purchase Yahoo. Otherwise, those companies will see *nix take a HUGE hit on the net. For IBM it will hurt a bit, but for Sun, it will destroy them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hellsDisciple (889830)
      The dark horse in this whole affair is Sun, not Apple. Sun has a very solid hardware and software business, and now has MySQL under its belt. It pretty much has zero real presence in the provision of online services. Sun essentially would get a shrink-wrapped business which takes care of itself and has very little redundant services. There is little political baggage with such a purchase either. They also get a platform to market their products virally (powered by Sun).

      FreeBSD would probably fare OK in that
  • This is FUD (Score:2, Insightful)

    by smitth1276 (832902)
    Slashdotters, if anything, are consistent in their selective usage of the "fud" tag and in the groupthink that its usage reflects.
  • by Otehake (1089281) on Monday February 04, 2008 @04:40PM (#22297076)
    Most people have been aware of the large Microsoft warchest of billions with which they have been known to squash competition. Hence, one of the best ways to peg back Microsoft a few notches (and become less of a monopoly), is for them to lose some of this warchest. Watch as Microsoft spend the bulk of their warchest on Yahoo, influence Yahoo with their Microsoft leadership and business styles, people run away from such dictatorial practices, and Yahoo diminish in value until there is little value attached to the brand.

    Poof! Billions of Microsoft dollars gone up in smoke. So sssssshhhh... don't tell them they are making a very big mistake. Perhaps then they will start competing on valuable software and services.

  • Just as I want to Yahoo to avoid AOL and Microsoft, I can easily bail from Yahoo should the deal go thru.

    I have no loyalty anymore - if a software web portal stops working for me, I can ditch it with just one URL.

Put your Nose to the Grindstone! -- Amalgamated Plastic Surgeons and Toolmakers, Ltd.

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