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October 2, 2006

Microsoft acquires DesktopStandard

Posted by David Hunter at 1:16 PM ET.

DesktopStandard press release:

DesktopStandard Corporation, a leading developer of Group Policy-based enterprise desktop management products, today announced it has been acquired by Microsoft Corp. The addition of DesktopStandard demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to help customers leverage the value of policy-based management and maximize the value of their investments in Microsoft Active Directory.

DesktopStandard will continue to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Microsoft while the DesktopStandard technology is transitioned to Microsoft. Customers can continue to purchase GPOVault®, ProfileMaker, PolicyMaker™ Standard Edition and Share Manager from DesktopStandard and existing partners. ProfileMaker will be available only from existing DesktopStandard partners. Microsoft will continue to support customers according to the terms and conditions of existing agreements. Microsoft is not acquiring the PolicyMaker™ Application Security business.

PolicyMaker™ Application Security will be exclusively available from BeyondTrust™ Corporation, formerly a wholly-owned subsidiary of DesktopStandard.

No financial terms were disclosed.

Filed under Acquisitions, Active Directory, Microsoft, Technologies

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January 25, 2006

Samba 4 beta targets Active Directory

Posted by David Hunter at 7:56 PM ET.

Speaking of licensing Windows Server source code, the developers of Samba, a popular open source Windows-compatible file and print server, just announced a beta of Samba 4:

A next-generation test version of the open-source Samba file-sharing software has been made available, with features emulating Microsoft’s Active Directory ID management software.

The popular Samba suite is an implementation of Microsoft’s SMB (Server Message Block)/CIFS (Common Internet File System) protocol that allows other operating systems to emulate or interoperate with Windows for the purposes of sharing files or printing.

The new version of the software was released Wednesday in conjunction with a speech on the subject by Australia-based Samba creator Andrew Tridgell at the conference in New Zealand.

The point being that Samba, and open source development projects in general, will not license Microsoft source under the terms established for the US source code licensing:

After struggles with the U.S. Justice Department, Microsoft made Windows client protocols available in the U.S. as directed. But the way it implemented licensing agreements was to charge a royalty on each product shipped using the protocols. The move effectively prevented the inclusion of the protocols in open-source code, since the General Public License that governs Linux, Samba, and other open-source code prohibits including anything that requires a royalty payment, Allison says.

Allison says Microsoft’s cooperation with the Samba development team ended in 1999 as Linux’ popularity became a threat in the server market. Now the team accomplishes compatibility with Windows systems through “network analysis”–a more-elegant term than “reverse engineering,” which used to be used to describe Samba’s ability to achieve compatibility.

As for the latest version of Samba, Joshua Wulf reports:

They put in their own LDAP server because of non-standard Microsoft fields, including Security Descriptors, that wouldn’t work well with the MIT LDAP server or Fedora Directory Server.

The Vampire migration tool now has “longer fangs”, and can take over an Active Directory domain. Tridge demonstrated sucking the life out of a Windows 2003 PDC in one click, importing all its user and machine information using SWAT. He then restarted bind on his Samba 4 server, changed the server role to PDC in smb.conf (this will be automatic in the final release), shut down the Windows PDC, and then logged into the domain with an XP client using the new Samba 4 server as the PDC. This elicited suitable oohs and aahs from the audience.

Microsoft has introduced a new protocol – SMB2 – with the latest Vista technology preview, and the boys on the Samba team are having more fun than they’ve had since the 90′s reverse-engineering it, and they have released their implementation, in Samba 4 technology preview, before Microsoft. Booyakasha!

It’ll be interesting to see what, if anything, the EC does with the Microsoft source license offer.

Filed under Active Directory, Antitrust, Legal, Open Source, SMB2, Samba, Technologies

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September 27, 2005

Microsoft buddies up with JBoss

Posted by David Hunter at 10:13 AM ET.

JBoss and Microsoft Outline Interoperability Goals:

JBoss® Inc. and Microsoft Corp. today announced plans to explore enhanced interoperability between their respective JBoss Enterprise Middleware System (JEMS™) and Microsoft® Windows Server™ products and deepen JBoss support for the Windows Server operating system.

While the two companies will continue to compete for software developers with their respective Java and Microsoft .NET offerings, the companies are exploring opportunities to improve interoperability and ensure an optimized experience for customers using JBoss on the Windows Server platform. The cooperative effort seeks to provide customers with richer functionality and better integration, resulting in a lower cost of ownership.

The technology engagement between the two companies is expected to include technical assistance and architectural guidance on the following features:

Microsoft Active Directory®. Integrated sign on and federated identity

Web services. Interoperability using WS-* Web services architecture

Management. A Management Pack for Microsoft Operations Manager

SQL Server™. Optimized performance for users of Hibernate, JBoss’ object/relational mapping technology, and Enterprise JavaBeans 3.0

Filed under Active Directory, Alliances, Java, Open Source, Operations Manager, SQL Server, Technologies, Web Services

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