Byte.com: Why Isn’t ODBC A Standard Feature Of Linux?

“Years ago, Microsoft announced a strategy called Windows Open
Services Architecture (WOSA). The crowning jewel of WOSA was and is
Open Database Connectivity (ODBC), a model in which the Windows
platform provides a general set of database-access services, and
database vendors provide adaptors for their products. As a result,
Windows applications can get out of the business of writing
adaptors for data-sources, and can instead focus on doing something
useful with the data that’s accessible to them by way of the
standard ODBC infrastructure.”

“The same idea plays out elsewhere in Windows. There’s unified
access to printers, for example, and to modems. And Microsoft did a
wonderful job of neutralizing the differences between the various
network transport protocols. Windows networking services run
identically over TCP/IP, IPX/SPX, and NetBEUI, because the platform
abstracts the differences among these protocols in a neutral

“Microsoft is just a marketing company,” the Linux community
likes to gloat. There’s plenty of truth in that statement, but the
real story is a lot more complex. When it comes to WOSA-style
abstraction of core services, it’s Microsoft that emerges as the
innovator, and Unix/Linux as the foot-dragging