I'm having a rather traumatic experience with certain Microsoft products lately. My problem is that I'm trying to "get to know" Microsoft's Hyper-V for my virtualization column over at Linux Magazine. The problem is, that to manage a true Hyper-V system remotely, you must have a Windows Vista or Windows 7 system. The problem with that is that I'm not gonna do it. I refuse to adopt either system, which in turn, will also prevent me from using Hyper-V or writing anything about it. I think that for Linux to survive and thrive as a desktop operating system, it needs some proprietary tools.
Must we follow the path of the unrighteous to survive? I believe that all this freedom and openness might be turning in on itself and hurting us in such cases. It is also surprising to note that one must have a Windows Server on which to install VMware's Virtual Center to manage VMware ESX/ESXi systems that are Linux-based.
Where's the freedom in that?
Microsoft recently made a code offering to the Linux kernel for its Hyper-V but yet won't make the remote tools available for anything but <gasp> Vista or the messianic Windows 7.
If vendors feel that they must create proprietary tools for their solutions, they might soon realize that they're cutting out a huge market for those solutions. Why not offer a web-based tool for remote management? Is security the reason? Then offer a cross-platform application to manage those solutions.
In a word, I refuse to adopt or to promote any system or solution whose developers are so nepotistic that they cannot offer cross-platform tools to manage those solutions.
Would the Linux desktop find success in such practices? I don't like the smell of it but it might be the only way to compete. Unfortunately, the open source community doesn't work that way. By providing the source code, anyone, even Microsoft, can take that code and create a Windows-based tool for the world's Windows users.
One interesting side note here--those management tools aren't available for Windows XP either. Isn't that clever of Microsoft? They're forcing you to "upgrade" to one of their newer operating systems which essentially means that they're extorting money from you.
Do you like that? Is this the last resort for desktop operating system survival--by extorting its current user base and technology adopters?
What's your reaction to such proprietary tools and vendor extortion? Write back and let me know.