In the News: FUD, VB, and the FSF

Posted in FSF, Intellectual Monopoly, Mono, Novell, Steve Ballmer at 9:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

At risk of generalisation, Novell is currently in hot waters over Microsoft’s most recent threats, issued to scare Linux distributors. Novell is being used to empower Microsoft’s arguments.

Meanwhile, Novell boasts cashing in on what appears to be old technology and some further work on Visual Basic under Linux, which is seen as controversial by some.

C|Net has just hosted an anti-FSF column. The delivery of the message, which puts the label “religion” on the FSF, is courtesy of the “Progress & Freedom Foundation”, whatever it may be and whatever they mean by “progress”. They are a Microsoft front.

Apple has Tiger Woods, Microsoft has Lebron James

Posted in Humour at 9:17 pm by Shane Coyle

And, now Novell has their own "celebrity" spokesperson in a brilliant campaign that is sure to bring awareness of Groupwise to a whole new generation, I’m sure.


What is a Clone Product? And Other Questions…

Posted in FUD, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant, Steve Ballmer at 9:10 pm by Shane Coyle

Here is a great write-up aptly entitled "nobody reads this stuff" on the Patent Covenant aspect of the Microvell deal, with a little input from Novell’s perspective, however clouded it may be.

The article provides further analysis of the covenant to Novell customers provided by Microsoft, ranging from simple things like misspelling Novell and some syntactical errors, to serious and seemingly unanswerable questions (either due to non-disclosure aspects of the deal, or due to lack of knowledge by the parties involved, no one can tell for sure) such as what exactly is covered by the covenant, and what is not?

The covenant makes distinctions between "covered" and "clone" products, even though the definition of a "clone product" is never provided. The author approached Novell for some assistance with this term, but all we have is Justin Steinman’s best guess:

Justin Steinman: “Two examples of what might be considered a clone product might be OpenOffice.org and Samba, to be specific. Both of those are open source technologies that mimic technology offered by Microsoft.”

But no, you don’t get a list of what is and isn’t a clone product, and Steinman says, “All the end customer really cares about is if they are using anything that is part of the SUSE Linux Enterprise platform they have a covenant not to sue from Microsoft.”

You have a Covenant, so you’re all squared away, right? But the Covenant says it covers Covered Products, and Covered Products doesn’t include Clone Products, and you don’t get a copy of the definition of Clone Products. Covered or not? You’re just as mystified about the answer to “Will Microsoft sue me?” as you were before.

So, what do you think a "clone product" is, and are there any in SUSE or your favorite distro? And, given Mr. Ballmer’s increased hostility and public statements ever since the deal, are you more or less uneasy about their disposition than before Novell approached Microsoft to make this deal on your behalf?

Update: Just wanted to add in this quote from Steve Ballmer at the press conference announcing the deal on November 2, as another instance of Ballmer’s threats (his response to the second-to-last question, scroll way down):

Steve Ballmer: Novell is actually just a proxy for its customers, and it’s only for its customers. This does not apply to any forms of Linux other than Novell’s SUSE Linux. And if people want to have patent peace and interoperability, they’ll look at Novell’s SUSE Linux. If they make other choices, they have all of the compliance and intellectual property issues that are associated with that.

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts