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07.17.07

Microsoft Leaves Linspire Robbed, Naked

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, GPL, Linspire, Microsoft, Novell at 11:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Well, well, well…

That’s what ‘partners’ are for.

Just shortly after Microsoft had betrayed Novell, Microsoft decided to move on to Linspire. DinformationWeek, which has been Microsoft’s pet for delivering endless FUD recently, has the report.

Microsoft says software that’s licensed under a new version of a popular open source license isn’t covered by the patent protection deal it recently signed with desktop Linux distributor Linspire.

If we get this straight, and only if (that’s a big if) Microsoft’s claims are legally valid at all, Linspire faces two choices (or scenarios) now:

  • Linspire has no access to GPLv3-licensed software, of which there will be plenty.
  • Linspire achieved nothing with its deal. It is not supposedly ‘protected’. It spends money building a so-called ‘translator’ to serve a convicted monopoly abuser. It also propagates the myth that Linux requires protection and at the same time drives many of its existing customers away.

This might be the perfect punishment to the man who called certain Linux distributors “high-brow pirates” and, as a Linux distributor, spread FUD on behalf on Microsoft (for profit).

A question remains here. Are Novell and Xandros affected by association/inference?

Have a look at this discussion at Digg.com and the pointers it contains. It says it all.

Will Long Will Novell Coupons Last?

Posted in Finance, GPL, Microsoft, Novell, SLES/SLED at 11:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell has decided to speak to the Microsoft press. There are figures and opinions there which are noteworthy. For example:

[Steinman, for Novell:] As part of our agreement, Microsoft purchased from Novell $240 million of certificates that customers can redeem for subscriptions to SuSE Linux Enterprise Server with support. Microsoft has been selling those certificates to customers as part of mixed Windows-Linux deals. Xandros didn’t get anything like that. We also have some of the unique stuff around virtualization with Microsoft. We weren’t surprised by this news. They said publicly from day one they wanted to sign up some other partners as part of their open source ecosystem.

So is this a good thing?

[Steinman:] It’s part of Microsoft’s business strategy. I think well leave it up to the market to decide. All I’m capable of commenting on is why Novell did the deal. It was important to deliver this technical interoperability between Windows and Linux. It’s been borne out by the fact that in the six months of the deal so far, Novell has invoiced $91 million of the $240 million that Microsoft committed to us in the agreement. That’s roughly 38 percent in six months of a five-year deal.

As Eben Moglen said a couple of months back, Microsoft is throwing SLES coupons out of the airplane. Novell gleefully talks about their salesman, on which they are financially dependent, but recent developments could pour out cold water on this party.

With Novell intent on moving to GPL v3, and Microsoft intent on not touching anything remotely related to GPL v3, it appears that the situations is coming to a head–one that seems likely to result in Microsoft ceasing its Linux distribution deal with Novell.

If appears likely that this 5-year partnership will have only lasted for months. Novell ought to have learned from Jim Allchin.

Open Standards and the GPL in the United Kingdom

Posted in Europe, Formats, GPL, Interview, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Petitions, Samba at 10:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The United Kingdom remains one whose mindset is still align with America’s, at least as far as software is concerned. There are a few new articles that are worth mentioning.

As pointed out just weeks ago, the UK’s National Archives sidled with Microsoft in a most questionable (even controversial) of moves. Let us recognise that an issue which escapes many people’s attention is long-term preservation of information. You see this in DRM, not just in document formats. Only when people wake up and understand that their past gets erased will they actually have regrets. National Archives seems to have taken the wrong route for what appears to be Microsoft promotion. It relies on OOXML — the poison that we know as an enemy to real interoperability and competition in the market.

After a disappointing response from the UK Government, it appears as though the country does not mind lock-in. Competition is a healthy thing. It motivates. It drives innovation. OOXML kills all of this.

With a document formats monopoly (not unification), science will be hindered. But why? Why would anyone want this? The UK government is infatuated with Microsoft. Maybe they like the money, maybe they just like the ‘class’. Tony Blair and Bill Gates are friends. We already know this. The UK is not the only victim however. Look what happened in Portugal just days ago.

We have some links accumulated. They hopefully show how Microsoft misuses its power in the BBC, which is funded by British taxpayers. It’s part of a much broader picture. I fear that the UK will be the last nation to embrace Linux and standards, along with the United States. The rest of the world is transforming more quickly and it’ll give it a competitive advantage.

A respected Free software advocacy site has just created a petition calling the government to stand for the GPL.

Since software patents may threaten this fundamentally important freedom, we propose that software published under the GNU General Public Licence (version 3 and above) be given immunity from prosecution from patent infringement under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act.

A terrific and famous Brit, Jeremy Allison, has offered his positive reaction to GPLv3.

Forget software politics for a minute — what does the new Samba licensing mean for the version you’re actually running, and for the distribution that packages it for you? Samba maintainer Jeremy Allison explains.

It seems to be a transcript of audio that we cited the other day.

Richard Stallman Talks About TiVo Concerns (Video)

Posted in DRM, FSF, Tivoization, Videos at 8:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not everyone seems to understand Tivoization, but regardless, Linus Torvalds likes it. In the following video, Richard Stallman talks about Tivoization and explains his pet peeves, which you may or may not sympathise with. The part of about TiVo starts about a minute after the start.

Linus Torvalds Escapes the Novell Question, Dismisses Microsoft’s “FUD”

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Interview, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Red Hat at 8:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In this new interview with Linus Torvalds, a few interesting questions were raised. The first answer remained consistent with what he said just a couple of weeks ago.

We can’t start without a question: does Linux infringe Microsoft patents?

[Linus Torvalds:] As far as we know, the answer is a resounding “no”, and it’s all just MS trying to counter-act the fact that they have problems competing with Linux on a technical side by trying to spread FUD.

Be aware that the following article was published yesterday. Red Hat’s mindset aligns with that of Torvalds.

Microsoft: No IP Talks with Red Hat

[...]

That approach will not work for Red Hat; Cormier’s position has been, “I want to talk to the folks at Microsoft about our two operating systems and how we can work together to solve real customer problems without attaching any unrelated strings, such as intellectual property.”

Returning to the interview, have a look at the following question and answer.

What do you think about Novell and Microsoft’s agreement? Which future developments will produce? And what about Red Hat’s events?

[Linus Torvalds:] I really don’t care. You’re asking all these marketing and company questions, and the thing is, I’m not at all into it. I’m totally uninterested. What I’m into is the technology, and working together with people.

Someone seems to have hit a nerve. Alax Cox was not reluctant to just say that “Novell are [were] going to get stung by the GPLv3, and rightfully so”. This was said before the draft of the licence got amended to pardon Novell.

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