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Could open source ISVs outprepare Microsoft stack players?

Here’s an interesting juxtaposition. On Tuesday, Microsoft’s  Sam Ramji talked up the company’s progress wooing open-source ISVs to Windows Server 2008.

 Zend Technologies, the self-proclaimed “PHP company,” is the first ISV  to qualify  for Windows 2008 certification  (for its Zend Core.) Certification is a step up from the “works with”  Windows 2008 label.

Also SpikeSource, which tests various  software stack components together, is now testing with Windows Server 2008 and its virtualization components. JasperSoft’s business intelligence offering will also work with Windows Server 2008, And Spikesource will test its stack against Windows Server 2008, much as it did with Windows Server 2003 but will now incorporate the new server’s virtualization capabilities  into its test suite

While coming from the LAMP-y open source world, all of those vendors had previously talked up the need for fruitful coexistence with Microsoft, so none of this was particularly surprising.

 But, minutes after talking with Ramji (who was in San Francisco at the Open Source Business Conference), a Microsoft partner called to complain that the bulk of his other software vendors (his anti-virus/anti-spam provider, his data back up vendor etc.) are dragging their feet in fully supporting Windows Server 2008. These are allegedly the good citizens of the Microsoft stack world and yet …

Why would these Microsofty ISVs be so slow on the draw?

Simple, he said: They got caught up in Microsoft’s Vista push-and were then burned by  slow adoption. These ISVs are not feeling particularly disposed to go to the same level of effort on Windows Server 2008. They will support it but they’re in no hurry to do so.

One of these vendors, when he pressed, said not to expect native Windows Server 2008 support until at least April of 2009.

These “ISVs have a bad taste in their mouths because of Vista and I think they’re punishing me and my clients,” said this VAR.  Microsoft pressured these vendors in getting their wares ready for the big Vista wave which turned into a ripple.  Also, even Microsoft insiders blame the company for breaking app compability in Vista while still pressuring partners to get their apps ready for what became a moving target release.

Anyone can understand their concerns.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if Microsoft has a better stable of open source players suited up for Windows Server 2008 than traditional Microsoft allies?

Barbara Darrow can be reached at

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Maybe ISVs are still running into problems getting their Server '08 certifications?,289142,sid96_gci1297173,00.html