Microsoft Says “Make Web Not War”

Looking to build ties with open source developers, the company launches an OSS marketplace.

At MIX09 last week, the lead on Microsoft’s Web Platform Team, Lauren Cooney, announced the launch of Microsoft’s Windows Web App Gallery. What is it exactly? It’s a marketplace for popular open source apps with the ability to one-click install an OSS application on a Windows-based server.

The app gallery is one component of Microsoft’s Web Platform strategy, which, in addition to the marketplace, includes the one-click installer for app gallery, the .NET framework, developer tools, and SQL Server Express edition. The tagline for this initiative? Make Web Not War.

If you’re a software developer there’s also the option to add your project to the app gallery. Once a project is a part of the marketplace, you won’t find a direct link to the source code for it (something, one assumes, that could easily be added) but it does provide an interesting distribution channel for software developers.

While not everyone’s going to buy into it, it’s a pretty smart method of injecting themselves into the open source ecosystem.

Recently, I was talking with some writers and editors in the tech trade about how SourceForge could use an update; that it has become unwieldy, and possible unusable, for a greater part of the computing population. I also wrote about about how open source projects could improve their chances in competing in proprietary software by focusing on the problems the software solved and improving project page usability. And now here comes Microsoft and essentially puts a giant install button on WordPress.

Does Microsoft have the right idea? Would something like this work in the Linux world?

There’s CPAN for Perl. There’s PECL for PHP. There are app repositories for all the major Linux distributions. If someone could figure out how to make it work across multiple distros, would a one-click application marketplace for the Linux platform fly?

Comments on "Microsoft Says “Make Web Not War”"


As usual with Microsoft, I smell a rat. There is always an alterior motive with them.


I would guess that this is just a way for M$ to gain metrics on what is wanted and what is not.

As they understand what OSS products people want, they will either buy out or copy/replace the OSS version with a similar product delivered directly with M$ OpSys.


Microsoft poor browsers are the no.1 problem with web apps. You have to spend way too much time working around the non-compliant nature of MS quirks.


Check out fossfor.us … I think they (SourceForge) are working on what you are describing.


Make web not war. Yea right. Tom Tom anyone?


Although SourceForge could use an uplift, I’m just not so sure those of us on Linux distros would like the “trust me” one click approach to installs.


These aren’t necessarily Web apps. This is a Web based installer for all kinds of apps, so you don’t have to worry about the browser it links to.

Having said that, I agree, “I still smell a rat.” Microsoft doesn’t care about FOSS programs. They are just looking for more ways to keep from becoming irrelevant. To do this, they have to somehow tie into the FOSS application space. After all, they way they’ve maintained their monopoly hold on the OS and platform space has been by convincing application developers to only write for their platform, because it’s the only one where the customers are. This is finally beginning to break down.

What they are protecting is the Windows OS, browser and SQL Server framework that all of these applications will be built on top of. I don’t even think they are trying to be sneaky or insidious about it. What I DON’T call it is “support for Open Source.”


Whilst it could definitely do with some focus on the Business needs solved… the mechanism for not only one-click install, but updates (this installs the appropriate repository for keeping up-to-date), exists for openSUSE.


Depends on the 15 page “EULA” that basically states they can do anything they want to you and charge you for it. I’d love to see how they could effectively handle opensource licensing.


well looking at opensuse’s 1 click collection, i would not be surprised if Microsoft decided to copy the idea from them.


Theres always a catch behind with Microsoft. Idiots will believe in them.


Come into the parlour said the spider to the fly

merlyn the mage

“Make Web not War”.

This from a company that does little else but wage war on it’s competitors?

Pull the other one it plays jingle bells.


Most web hosting companies running on linux already have this functionality – Things like fantastico and simplescripts.com


It goes deeper than that.

Many companies are now going to a terminal server web connection where a remote desktop with MSIE is all you’ve got to connect to the web. This supposedly protects the flaky insecurity of the windows systems behind it (Strangely they still allow email though most are monitoring the content, and the email client is the Outlook Virus Transport Protocol).

But with a number of companies in this mode, the folks producing software find they can’t type ‘apt-get install’ or ‘easy_install’ or ‘urpmi’ to update their systems. So Microsoft not only wants to know what apps you want but wants to supply an installer that can filter in the open-source stuff in their outlandish security.

Imagine trying to install KDE for windows in a shop which uses terminal servers. Currently, it is impossible.

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