EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

05.27.07

Could Novell’s Disclosure Have Led to More Backlash and Harm Than Calm? (Updated)

Posted in Deals, Dell, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant, Patents, Ubuntu, Windows at 9:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Shane has already taken a preliminary look at Novell’s recent disclosure. Next week we shall find out a lot more as prominent people analyse the text and will report to the press. Here are some early reactions. The first comes from the Wine team.

More than a few people have been angered by Novell’s patent indemnification agreement with Microsoft. If you’re looking a bunch of really exciting fun, you can find a redacted version of the entire agreement filed with the SEC. There’s two nice bits in there about Wine. The first pretty much means Novell won’t ever ship Wine (someone please correct me if I’m wrong because it’s late and I might have pieced it together wrong.) Why?

Remember that Dell joined the Microsoft/Novell deal. A couple of weeks ago, just shortly after this deal, Mark Shuttleworth announced that Wine would not be included in Dell’s Ubuntu PCs. A while later it turned out that proprietary multimedia codecs would not be included either. Is it a coincidence, a conspiracy, or simply a logical decision? Here is the reaction of a man who is disappointed due to these recent developments.

Dell’s deliberately limited Ubuntu Linux offerings show cowardice in the face of Microsoft’s displeasure, and telegraphs to the casual shopper that Linux is a very cheap (as in quality) second to Windows in terms of breadth and depth of hardware support, when it most certainly is not.

Also see the following perspective:

The agreement enshrines the pretzel-like position Novell has been forced to adopt because it appears to be paying Microsoft not to sue its customers for using Linux.

[...]

It looks as if the agreement makes provision for the possibility that Novell will get acquired — it passes through — unless, it appears, it goes to a private equity buy-out firm or a company that gets less than 10% of revenues from hardware and software. There are also safety nets for product spin-offs.

What a mouthful. More speculations are certainly yet to come our way. Here are the reactions that Novell had to face in last week’s OSBC.

Corbet of LWN.net, however, accused Novell of enabling Microsoft’s bad behavior. “Novell is paying Microsoft a per unit fee (on sales of SUSE Linux). If there’s not a patent issue, what are you paying for?” he asked.

[...]

The issue of patents has been front and center at OSBC… and audience members expressed disappointment at the mixed signals coming from Microsoft over possible litigation, and what many perceived as a lack of honest cooperation between Microsoft and the open source community. “I’m not afraid of Novell coming after me like I’m afraid of Microsoft coming after me,” said Jon Stumpf, Senior Vice President of Engineering at AIG. “I don’t need a new (collaboration) deal on virtualization or ODF. I need cooperation on standards.” At other times, audience members responded with outright derision at efforts to smooth over the disagreements that have followed from the partnership.

Here is another eye-opening article:

Under the terms of the agreements, Microsoft will spend hundreds of millions of dollars on licensing fees and sales and marketing costs over five years, including $240 million for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server subscription certificates. For its part, Novell has agreed to pay Microsoft a percentage of revenue from open-source products.

Novell has chosen to betray the supplier in order to please a few customers (if any at all). The wrath of those who were harmed (developers and Linux peers) is going to harm Novell. What goes around comes around.

Update: a video from OSBC was published yesterday. Here it is, in case someone is interested.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

6 Comments

  1. Shane Coyle said,

    May 27, 2007 at 9:23 am

    Gravatar

    MS is afraid of Wine because it allows folks to run their Office toolset without paying for Windows, which are their only 2 profitable products. Part of this deal is about virtualization, and this legal posturing is one of MS’ way of keeping Windows relevant and actually installed out there.

  2. akf said,

    May 27, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    Gravatar

    Letter to the FOSS comunity regarding Microsoft’s patent promise:
    http://www.softwarefreedom.org/perspectives/2006/ms-patent-promise/
    It is an old article, but it is interesting to read it again…

    BTW. the SFLC had already access to the documents in 2006.

  3. shane said,

    May 27, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    Gravatar

    It is true,the patent pledge is worthless to open source developers and even to Novell customers, but is priceless to Microsoft.

  4. Marcus Meissner said,

    May 27, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    Gravatar

    Very strange that we are still shipping Wine woth openSUSE 10.2 you know.

    Ciao, Marcus (Package Maintainer of Wine).

    Oh… and I would _really_ suggest you look at OpenOffice_org mentioned in
    the same list … which we ship for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10.

    You assume to understand this patent agreement, …. Well, I am not a lawyer and I do not and I would not even try without getting some legal help.

    You should stop your negative reporting and “assuming” etc etc etc

    Ciao, Marcus

  5. Shane Coyle said,

    May 27, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    Gravatar

    I assume you know that Novell has agreed to pay MS per-unit royalties to ship something(s) in SLES/SLED? I am not assuming that. So, the fact that Novell ships OOO in SLED is not a valid defense, perhaps they are paying for a patent license (however denominated) for OOO, or Samba, or _____.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 27, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    Gravatar

    > Very strange that we are still shipping Wine
    > worth openSUSE 10.2 you know.

    They also seem to be taking their Linux desktop in uncomfortable directions, IMHO. See: http://boycottnovell.com/2007/04/23/mono-strategy/

What Else is New


  1. The EFF Back to Tackling Software Patents, Not Just Patent Trolls

    Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyers start targeting large companies that exploit patents for intimidation and extortion, not just patent trolling



  2. Microsoft Wants to Devour the Competition (Linux), Devour People's Data

    Refuting the "new Microsoft" propaganda and some ludicrous concept that Microsoft is now "playing nice"



  3. Benoît Battistelli Thinks 'President' is Above the Law, Decides to Ignore the Court's Ruling

    Staff of the EPO is given yet more reasons to protest tomorrow at the British Consulate, for the so-called 'President' of the EPO reminds everyone of the very raison d'être for the protest -- a vain disregard for the rule of law



  4. Links 24/2/2015: Xfce 4.12 a Week Away, GNOME 3.16 Previewed

    Links for the day



  5. Links 23/2/2015: Ubuntu Kylin 14.04.2 LTS, Cinnamon 2.6 Previews

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: February 8th - February 21st, 2015





  7. The EPO's Sham 'Internal Investigation' of EPO Vice-President Željko Topić's Affairs

    The EPO never investigated the Željko Topić affair, it only pretends to have investigated (one small aspect, i.e. cherry-picking) using a Benoît Battistelli-controlled group



  8. Links 21/2/2015: GNOME 3.15.90, Google Wins Android Lawsuit

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft AstroTurfing War on GNU/Linux is Still Going On, But Hidden Better, Uses API as Instrument of Lock-in

    The corruptible press continues to describe blatant attacks (Embrace, Extend, Extinguish) against GNU/Linux and Free software as Microsoft 'embracing' Open Source



  10. Lenovo's Superfish Scandal is Spyware on Top of Spyware (Microsoft Windows), the Problem is Inherently Proprietary Software

    Shifting focus to the root problem, which is neither Lenovo nor its laptops but the non-free programs installed on hardware



  11. Benoît Battistelli Once Again Threatens EPO Staff That 'Dares' to Protest, Battistelli Exploits Terror Attacks to Pretend to Respect Free Speech

    The European Patent Office (EPO) President, Benoît Battistelli, reportedly started threatening -- as before -- staff that decides to exercise the right to assemble and protest against abuses, including the abuses of President Battistelli himself



  12. Links 20/2/2015: Android Studio v1.1, GDB 7.9

    Links for the day



  13. Links 20/2/2015: Bloomberg Joins Linux Foundation, ClearOS Community 6.6.0

    Links for the day



  14. The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys Slams the European Patent Office for Structural Failings

    An important letter which we overlooked while writing yesterday's 4 articles about the European Patent Office (EPO); yet another key stakeholder complains



  15. Links 19/2/2015: Hewlett-Packard on Cumulus Linux, Previews of GNOME 3.16 Beta

    Links for the day



  16. Techrights Under Attack Again, Shortly After Important EPO Articles

    Techrights highlights a pattern that is months old; Site faces availability issues shortly after reports about the European Patent Office and its abuses



  17. EPO Staff Protests Against Benoît Battistelli’s Lowering of Patents Quality (Scope Expansion and Software Patents for Profit)

    A protest in Munich in less than 6 days will target Mr. Sean Dennehey, who has helped Battistelli cover up his abuses and crush legitimate critics, whom he deemed illegal opposition as if the EPO is an authoritarian regime as opposed to a public service which taxpayers are reluctantly (but forcibly) funding



  18. Breaking: European Patent Office Sued by Its Own Staff in The Hague, Must Unblock Staff's Voices

    The crooked management of the European Patent Office (EPO) gets in legal trouble after repeated attempts to cover up abuses and suppress criticism



  19. Željko Topić's History in SIPO Leaves a Legacy of Alleged DZIV Vehicles (Bribes), Authorship Abuses, and Intimidation Against Reporters

    Another deep look at Željko Topić's background in Croatia, preceding his very notorious appointment to the EPO where he now serves as Benoît Battistelli's most controversial attack dog



  20. The Old Obsession With Patent Trolls Continues to Distract From Debate About Software Patenting

    A roundup of recent coverage about monopolies on algorithms in the United States



  21. Links 19/2/2015: 64-bit ARM Linux, Chinese New Year

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/2/2015: Linux Report, FlightGear 3.4

    Links for the day



  23. EPO Scandals: The Story So Far

    An overview of articles about mischief, misconduct and breach of laws at the EPO



  24. Links 17/2/2015: TripleO, Pivotal

    Links for the day



  25. Links 17/2/2015: SystemD 219, Frugalware 2.0 (Rigel) Released

    Links for the day



  26. Željko Peratović Slammed for Whitewashing Željko Topić After Publishing Important Piece on Behalf of Key Sources

    Response from Ivan Kabalin to Zeljko Peratovic's so-called "apology" which is both mysterious and seemingly inadequate as it does nothing to actually explain what was wrong (if anything)



  27. Benoît Battistelli Has Made Oversight of European Patent Office Absolutely Impossible





  28. Microsoft Already Killed Nokia, Don't Let It Kill Android Players Too

    Microsoft's strategy against Android mirrors the company's evil strategy that derailed MeeGo and Nokia



  29. Intel Continues to Attack Software Freedom Through UEFI

    The Trojan horse that Microsoft uses to cement its monopoly on desktops and laptops (making it hard or impossible to install and run GNU/Linux) is also being misused to block Coreboot



  30. Links 16/2/2015: Netrunner 15, Bridge Linux

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

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 Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts