Novell VP John Dragoon has taken the time to email Rich Morgan at openaddict.com and respond to his concerns over potential GPL violations and the impact of the Microsoft deal on the community, hoping he will reconsider his position on boycotting Novell and SUSE.
Dragoon again asserts that Novell is not in violation of the GPL (specifically, Rich mentioned section 7 in his letter):
As to your belief that we have violated the GPL, we disagree. We have made no admission of patent violation within Linux and would take no action that knowingly prevented us from selling and supporting SUSE Linux. We have been a long time supporter of the Open Source community and it’s many efforts to create and distribute world class Open Source software. We remain committed to that goal.
Several times in the past we mentioned Novell’s plan to virtualise GNU/Linux under the ‘stable and secure’ Microsoft Windows platform [1, 2, 3, 4] rather than apply simple logic and do things the other way around, honouring and utilising the value of Linux, as well as giving it muchly-deserved dominance. Here is the latest take on this surprising change of heart at Novell.
When it comes to Linux servers, a few months can make a whole lot of difference. Earlier this year, Red Hat, Novell, and most major Linux vendors were doing their best to fend off Windows Virtualized Server by getting their own virtualization offerings out the door first. But now, as part of a multifaceted deal unveiled in November, Novell and its former competitor Microsoft each plan to “optimize” their servers to work best on one another’s VM (virtual machine) platforms.
The new version (6) of Fedora Core, which became available for download in November, shows that major Linux vendors see the importance of virtualisation and virtual private servers in years to come.
Xen in Fedora Core 6 comes with a GUI named Virtual Machine Manager.
Shown below is Xen running under Debian in good ol’ command-line mode.
Loosely-related side note: a couple of weeks ago we mentioned how temporary trends affect hype and can therefore have an unsustainable impact on Web sites such as DistroWatch. As predicted, Ubuntu has returned to the top of the pageviews-based ranks list.
Customers choose vendor whom they trust. Trust has been the most major loss which resulted from the infamous deal. Confidence in the company/ies has, according to some sources, declined significantly.
It has been at last three weeks since the Microsoft/Novell survey was conducted and its results published as a joint press release from both companies. The survey, quite unsurprisingly given its conductors, showed that customers were largely enthusiastic about the deal. The intent of the survey was, quite evidently, to achieve acceptance among a wider audience, which may or may not be inspired by the remainder of the customers (the ‘wisdom of the crowds’ phenomenon).
The survey, however, contained many flaws. Whoever investigated the anatomy or method used in this study found it biased and self-serving. Among those who criticised the survey was Mary Jo Foley who, despite/owing to her excellent familiarity of/affiliation with Microsoft, could smell something funny. She pointed out various reasons and made observations which raised the readers’ skepticism. She was only one among several people who took a look at the finer details of the study, rather than just focus on its bottom line, only to discover gaps and some mind-boggling facts, e.g. a third of those surveyes knew nothing about the deal at the time. To make matters worse, the survey, once investigated more profoundly, later revealed far more than initially intended. Essentially, it backfired.
There has been a worrisome lull on the matter in recent weeks. The interest levels have sunk and only the bottom line—however inaccurate—may be remembered. However, over the holidays, yet another interesting piece was published in ComputerWorld. To quote a fragment:
Now the folks who indicated they knew about the agreement weren’t actually asked their opinion of it. Instead, the interviewer read a Microsoft-friendly synopsis of the agreement and asked if this was a good thing. Again, it’s surprising that 9% of the respondents said no.
Fortunately, the marketplace seems to be seeing through this self-serving exercise. Gee, maybe Novell’s marketing fiascos are now influencing Microsoft’s – wouldn’t that be a great legacy for this agreement!
Let’s never forget what this survey should teach us. Rather than focus on some recent partnerships, we ought to remember that deceit which made some of it possible. Only honesty and trasnparency can earn trust in the long term.