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Microsoft says Open source is too complex

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"One of the beauties of the open-source model is that you get a lot of flexibility and componentization. The big downside is complexity," Ryan Gavin, Microsoft's director of platform strategy, said on the sidelines of the company's worldwide partner conference in Boston last month.

Gavin noted that the flexibility of open-source software in meeting specific business needs also means systems integrators and ISVs have to grapple with complexity costs. "It's challenging for partners to build competencies to support Linux, because you never quite know what you're going to be supporting," he added.

"Customers who run Linux could be operating in Red Hat, [Novell's] Suse, or even customized Debian environments," he explained. "You don't get that repeatable [development] process to build your business over time."

Lim Han Sheng, general manager of IBS Synergy, a Malaysian software vendor specializing in chain-store management applications, agreed: "We had to learn [how to build on the] different versions of Linux distributions to meet the demands of customers."

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That's not entirely true

I agree that there is a big difference between SuSE, debian and Redhat and other linux systems, but if you stick to on system, you will get a reliable platform that you easily support in your applications. That is because there is not difference between SuSE 9.x and 10.x platform-wise. You only have to recopmpile the applications against deifferent versions of libraries.
Now when it comes to different types of distribution, well there aren't that many. You have your debian derivatives, your mandrake derivatives, your fedoras and redhat derivatives, your slackware and gentoo derivatives, and suse and these aren't a problem since for example, anything that compiles on debian should compile on ubuntu.
The only troublesome distribution is archlinux. Although it is THE best distribution out there next to gentoo, archlinux uses BSD style initscripts and that can be a bit troublesome.
Other distributions are just variations of the ones mentioned above. In the end, you only have to port your applications to only a few number of distributions and you can safely take it for granted that it will work on the rest.

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