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02.27.07

How We Got Into This Mess and How We Shall Get Out

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant, Patents at 10:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft’s ‘big plans’ for Novell are nothing new and, as a matter of fact, they go back to 2006 when Bill Gates stated:

“We’re also letting Novell give something that you get in the commercial model, but you rarely get otherwise, which is the indemnification, just like we always do with every copy of Windows. So we’re pioneering some things here.”

Yes, they certainly pioneered a method of threatening Free software.

Linux.org isn’t afraid of doing some finger pointing by suggesting that Novell is part of the gig which started this whole mess.

The Novell-Microsoft pact has made us all aware that we can be clubbed over the head by a Microsoft intent on protecting what it calls its “intellectual property”

Meanwhile, the FSF suggests that the new GPLv3 draft is imminent, but the final release is still delayed. The intent is to leave Novell, which adamantly argues it can comply with the GPL, out in the cold.

The GPL 3 drafting process was thrown for a loop by the surprise pact Novell and Microsoft announced in November. The deal includes a patent covenant that critics fear will give Novell and its customers a legal immunity not shared by other developers. The GPL’s author, FSF president Richard Stallman, quickly pledged to patch loopholes in the GPL 3 draft to prevent such tactics.

Dude, Certification Isn’t Preinstallation

Posted in Dell, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Novell at 1:28 pm by Shane Coyle

"Major OEM to offer preinstalled Linux on desktops and notebooks"

2007 actually is the year of Linux on the Desktop!

Alot has been made of the prominence of preinstalled Linux as a request on the dellideastorm site, a community-driven site in which dell customers can (hopefully) influence the direction of the company’s offerings, with more than a few internet news sites proclaiming that Dell will sell Desktops and Laptops with "Linux pre-installed".

Unfortunately, it’s not what happened. Dell will be working with Novell and others to certify their hardware for Linux, including their desktops and notebooks, but they are not planning on preinstalling desktop Linux for their customers in the near future.

“Our point of view is that we are listening to our Linux customers,” said Jeremy Bolen, a Dell spokesman. He noted that the company already offers factory-installed Linux on some specific Dell Precision workstations for high-end corporate users, but is not currently installing the OS on its other laptop or desktop machines. “However, I won’t rule out the option of expanding the pre-installation program at a future date,” Bolen said.

Boston Globe Calls It “Civil War”, But Microsoft Loses the Most

Posted in Formats, FUD, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Steve Ballmer at 7:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

What follows is a series articles which tell a story.

Let us start with the Boston Globe’s ambitious headline which states:

Linux camp rages over Novell pact

Microsoft accord could leave other open-source software companies more vulnerable to patent suits

Last year’s surprise partnership between software titan Microsoft Corp. and leading Linux distributor Novell Inc. was supposed to be a kind of peace treaty. Instead, it’s brought the open-source software community to the brink of civil war, over a provision that could help Microsoft sue other open-source software companies for patent violations

While this may sound worrisome (and as a matter of fact is it the raison d’être of this Web site), this doesn’t tell the whole story. Adding some context, such as recent lawsuits over use of the MP3 format, the biggest loser here is neither Linux nor Novell. In fact, Wired magazine says the biggest gainer is Open Source. And the following two articles also explain why Microsoft suffers from its assault on Linux.

Survey says: Microsoft to lose more than gain from Linux IP assaults

Based on a survey in my recent blog on Microsoft’s MP3 IP travails, the community thinks Microsoft has more to lose than to gain. I think they are right. Microsoft may win a battle or two but at the cost of a war. Microsoft must know what violations may exist. By not taking action, it wants the best of both: no legal action, all PR benefit. Not a good bet. It didn’t work out for SCO from the Unix angle.

There’s also this one:

Patents cut both ways for Microsoft

If I held Microsoft stock (which I don’t) I would be furious.

Here is Steve Balmer (sic) focusing on Linux, making the tired claim that there is so-called Intellectual Property in Linux that violates patents held by Microsoft. Meanwhile Microsoft gets hit with a hefty patent violation of its own; 1.5 billion (yes, that is a “B”) for the use of the mp3 patent without payment of royalties.

Finally, let us put an end to all the FUD by blasting away any dark cloud which loom over. We may need the assistance of very influential figures.

They are also calling upon leaders in the tech community, like Linus Torvalds, Mark Shuttleworth, and Google’s leading triumvirate of Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt to call Microsoft’s bluff.

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