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Monday, April 4, 2016

Microsoft Sending Holiday Cheer to Apple Is Heartwarming and Crass click here to watch the video

‘Tis the season to sell gadgets, and that’s what Microsoft is presumably trying to do in its latest holiday ad revealed today. Except instead of touting the benefits of its Surface Pro 3 over Apple’s MacBook to the tune of “Winter Wonderland” like last year, or attacking Google with a mock website “Scroogled” as in 2012, Microsoft this year is reminding us to “spread harmony” as it ostensibly makes peace with its long-time competitor Apple. Really.
The new ad features Microsoft employees walking from the company’s 5th Avenue store in New York City to Apple’s signature cube a few blocks away. Alongside a local New York children’s choir, Microsoft employees from around the country sing “Let There be Peace on Earth” outside the Apple store. As what appear to be Apple employees trickle out of the store, the Microsoft workers embrace them. Let there be peace on Earth indeed.
The feel-good ad may be a departure from Microsoft’s antagonistic holiday spots of years past, but it’s in line with some other hell-freezing-over type moments from earlier this year. Kathleen Hall, corporate vice president of global advertising at Microsoft, tells Ad Age that the spot was a moment of “setting differences aside and coming together.”
But especially at a time when parts of the planet are being torn apart by real strife, exploiting a sincere sentiment for commercial purposes seems a little crass. Then again, isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

Microsoft Links Open-Source Arms with Linux Frenemy Red Hat

Microsoft just inked a new deal with longtime rival Red Hat to support the company’s version of Linux on Microsoft’s cloud service Azure.
Customers can already run Linux on Azure, but the new partnership will expand support for running so-called “hybrid clouds,” in which applications may exist in both private data centers and on public cloud services. More significantly, Microsoft and Red Hat support teams will work together from the same facilities to support Red Hat customers using Azure. Microsoft vice president of cloud and enterprise Scott Guthrie said during a webcast today that this is the first time that he knows of that Microsoft has “co-located” support teams with another company.
The deal is the latest example of Microsoft playing nice with a former rival. “When we started [Red Hat Enterprise Linux] I never would have thought we’d do this,” Red Hat president of product and technology Paul Cormier said during the webcast.
Linux and open source software have gone from being a fringe movement in the 1980s and `90s to being merely controversial in the early 2000s to being business as usual today.
As recently as 2007, Microsoft was threatening to sue Linux users for patent infringement, though it soon backed down. But the information technology world has changed since then, and Microsoft has had to change along with it. Linux and open source software have gone from being a fringe movement in the 1980s and `90s to being merely controversial in the early 2000s to being business as usual today.
The business reasons for the partnership are fairly simple, Cormier said. Red Hat’s customers, especially those at large companies, tend to run a mix of different technologies, including both Linux and Microsoft, and they want those technologies to communicate with each other without hassle. Red Hat and Microsoft first linked arms in 2009 to ensure compatibility between their virtual machine technologies, a deal that followed a controversial partnership between Microsoft and Novell in 2006 that shielded SUSE Linux users from Microsoft’s lawsuits.
Microsoft’s relationships with the open source community have gradually thawed since then. The company started supporting Linux on Azure in 2012, and now roughly 25 percent of all Azure instances run Linux. Last September the company revealed that it was even using a custom version of Linux behind the scenes to help run Azure. But Microsoft’s biggest turnaround was probably its release of its programming framework .NET to the open source community—the closed world of Microsoft opening up.

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