Microsoft's Linux overture: More sizzle, less steak

This Globe and Mail article by Shane Schick includes:

Evan Leibovitch is co-founder of the Linux Professional Institute and executive director of the Canadian Association for Open Source. He characterized Microsoft's Virtual Server move as a bunch of hoopla over nothing.

"What benefit does a business -- especially a small business that basically uses the computer as a tool like a cash register -- get from running two different platforms?" he asks. "What happens is, the administrator has more work to manage the virtual environment and play traffic cop between them. Virtualization may be good fashion for the vendors, but that doesn't mean the customers have to run after them."

I agree that this is "a bunch of hoopla over nothing", but not for the same reasons articulated by Evan. I believe that virtualization is an ideal solution to the need to have heterogeneous computing environments where legacy software running on legacy platforms (such as Microsoft Windows) need to be slowly transitioned.

I will believe that Microsoft has ceased its direct attacks against its largest competitors in the FLOSS economy when cease using lobbying and licensing as a weapon. They should license the CIFS filesystem documentation in such a way that it can be used by the Samba developers fully (IE: get rid of their anti-GPL licensing terms), they should drop the use of RAND patent licensing for software patents (which excludes FLOSS implementations), and they should cease lobbying for legal loopholes for for technical measures applied by manufacturers that disable the owners of these devices from running the software of their choice (including device owner modified FLOSS software).