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03.08.07

Microsoft Gets the C|Net Soapbox, Criticises Free Software

Posted in Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Samba at 8:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When you see a column with the headline “Two cheers for intellectual-property law”, then you know that someone is serving a personal agenda. Indeed, it was Microsoft. While demonising Richard Stallman, Brad Smith tries to justify software patents. Need we mention the recent lawsuits over support for MP3?

Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, noted evidence that “Linux infringed 283 different software patents.” He defended such violations on the grounds that “proprietary software is evil.”

It wasn’t long ago that Microsoft decalred joint victory — the context being Open XML — amid actual defeat. Self-serving news of this kind reached Beta News and now it’s C|Net, which are notorious due to their pro-Microsoft bias.

Meanwhile, using press releases, Microsoft says a company has paid to be allowed access what the European Commission describes as protocols too trivial to be patentable. Novell could be the precedence here.

It’s Gonna Take More than Coupons to Get Ya Saved

Posted in Antitrust, Deals, Deception, Europe, Finance, FUD, Interoperability, Marketing, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Red Hat, SCO, SLES/SLED, Windows at 2:08 pm by Shane Coyle

(It’s a Kanye West lyric)

Every analyst has pointed out that Novell’s Linux business "soared" while every other unit was hemorrhaging awfully, supposedly this is a good sign for Novell’s future. One problem is, Novell has publicly stated they are a "Mixed-Source" company, not Open Source like Red Hat meaning they are not letting go of those proprietary concrete shoes anytime soon.

Another problem is, as was already pointed out, most of the money they did make was Microsoft’s payment for the now infamous deal – the one where Microsoft picked up 350,000 3-year SUSE support coupons to "sell or otherwise distribute" over the next 5 years.

Novell at this point has outsourced their sales and marketing to Microsoft and has settled in in its position as Microsoft’s Linux division, supporting and developing a complement to Windows. Novell has stated that Microsoft is distributing the coupons for free, so how are they going to compete with Microsoft on price for their own services?

Novell will play its role in antitrust dog and pony shows, touting Microsoft’s pro-interoperability stance (and reaffirming the need to respect their portfolio of legally invalid software patents by paying royalties to interoperate with Windows), and slowly whither away.

Unfortunately, they will likely also continue to be complicit in Microsoft’s FUD campaign against Free Software, let’s just hope they don’t thrash around at the end like SCO did.

Dell Continues to Waffle on Preinstalled Linux

Posted in Antitrust, Deals, Dell, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft at 10:30 am by Shane Coyle

Dell Continues to Feel Preinstalled Linux Pressure… "Stay Tuned".

Apparently, Dell is already wavering after being panned for their half-step towards customer demand for preinstalled Linux.

March 6 2007: 7:19 PM EST

BOSTON (Reuters) — Dell is considering offering the Linux operating system as an alternative to Microsoft’s Windows on its personal computers, a Dell spokesman said on Tuesday.
The PC maker said it received more than 100,000 customer requests for Linux in a “suggestion box” posted on Dell’s Web site less than three weeks ago.

“We are listening to what customers are saying about Linux and taking it into consideration,” said Dell spokesman David Lord. “We are going forward. Let’s say, ‘Certainly stay tuned.’”

It should be noted, Dell has been hearing from more than just everyday consumers about Microsoft alternatives. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has stated that it has approached Dell regarding the possibility of them supplying Linux-based PCs capable of accessing the Google Apps Premier Edition as an alternative to Microsoft Vista/Office platform.

Bowen said he’s in talks with the aviation safety agency’s main hardware supplier, Dell Computer, to determine if it could deliver Linux-based computers capable of accessing Google Apps through a non-Microsoft browser once the FAA’s XP-based computers pass their shelf life. “We have discussions going on with Dell,” Bowen said. “We’re trying to figure out what our roadmap will be after we’re no longer able to acquire Windows XP.”

So, now Dell is in a pickle – do they listen to their customer demand and be the first to break away from Microsoft and their oppressive OEM agreements, which have been known to disallow "visible" dual-boot installations, and Microsoft’s heavy-handed tactics in dealings are legendary, and even occasionally documented.

Microsoft has apparently taken the stance in the past that OEMs should meet demand but not create demand for desktop Linux. So, go ahead Dell, meet your customer’s demands… Microsoft won’t mind.

Will the GPLv3 Resolve Anything?

Posted in GPL, Interview, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant at 7:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The release of a GPLv3 draft is imminent. It is intended to address the Novell deal, as well as similar deals of this kind. A very recent interview with a lawyer, however, seems to suggest that, as it stands, the licence remains ‘exploitable’. This might explain the recurring delays.

The GPLv3 is not an agreement between two specific parties; instead, it is an agreement between a community of software developers, on the one hand, and one or more users of the software, on the other hand.

Red Hat Collaborates with Novell… on Vanity

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, Red Hat at 1:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

According to this article from InternetNews, the need to count the number of Linux users has become apparent. Red Hat and Novell may actually set aside their differences and aggregate some figures. Fedora Core 6 (Zod) can boast an estimated 2-million-installation milestone.

With the new threshold crossing, it is unclear whether Fedora 6 is the No. 1 Linux distribution in use today, but internetnews.com has learned that preliminary discussions are underway that could see Novell’s OpenSUSE Linux distribution partner with Red Hat’s Fedora to drive open statistics about Linux use.

[...]

“We were talking to them about Smolt and one of the things that came out of that is that let’s spend some time and work on it together so what is developed for Fedora will work with SUSE,” Spevack said.

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