08.06.07

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Novell Sings Microsoft’s Self-serving Tunes

Posted in Boycott Novell, FUD, Humour, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Ron Hovsepian, Steve Ballmer at 4:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell marionetteWeird-looking Steve Ballmer with a small puppet tied to strings, eh? Think of the picture on the right as a depiction of the Novell-Microsoft relationship. When a company becomes financially dependent on another, it is natural to expect a certain bias that favours those in control. Over the past few months — on several occasions even — Novell has made certain statements which it later regretted, retracted, or claimed to have been misinterpretations. Here are a few examples of cases where Novell goes batting for Microsoft, whether intentionally and knowingly or not.

Disclaimer: links lead to contextual references, not necessarily the original sources, which are cited therein.

Novell Employee Backs Microsoft in OOXML Clash with Europe

Miguel de Icaza, with a history or taking Microsoft’s side, states: “The EU Prosecutors are Wrong“ [on OOXML vs ODF].

Novell Confirms the Deal Was About “Intellectual Property

In mid-November, shortly after the pact was announced, Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer said companies that sell or run Linux, but aren’t covered under the Novell deal, are illegally using Microsoft’s IP. “We believe every Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance-sheet liability,” he said.

He said in a later meeting: “I do think it clearly establishes that open source is not free.”

Novell and Microsoft Decided for that World That Interoperability Requires “Assurance” and ‘Tax’”

I felt constrained to point out that for 20 years Unix, and then Linux customers, hadn’t felt the need to be protected by such agreements. It’s curious why customers should now suddenly need assurance.

Nat Friedman Defends Pact with Novell’s #1 Rival

Nat Friedman: I haven’t seen that until now, I mean there have always been flamewars in the Linux community, it’s part of the community culture.

Novell’s Desktop Migration Strategy: Slow and Steady

So, rather than compete directly with their partner Microsoft with their award-winning “complete desktop replacement”, Novell is instead encouraging other Linux vendors to also embrace Microsoft and is preaching peaceful coexistence with Windows.

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2 Comments

  1. GNU/Linux said,

    August 6, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    Gravatar

    I hope those examples are just marketing BS. Something that had to be said because press needs it. OpenSUSE is recently doing so much and so well that I can’t blame Novell/openSUSE without leaving bad taste in my mouth. Lenovo will be selling laptops with preinstalled SLED, thats a huge step forward. “Linux on Desktop” is actually really happening right now. Dell, Acer and now Lenovo. Novell with backup from openSUSE team is participating in it.

    I just don’t feel right blaming Novell for what they did all the time. I said it some time ago that it hurts mostly (if not only) openSUSE. I’m tired of all those really bad news (excluding “do-not-evil” days ;)). Enterprise guys don’t care about ideologies/philosophy/freedoms. They will never care. And imho Novell won’t loose market to Red Hat because market is still owned by MS so they both have a lot to take from this “Empire of Evil”. Novell and Red Hat have a lot to do but they do it in different ways. Red Hat is more FLOSS oriented, Novell is not.

    What I want to say is, is Novell really so big threat for FLOSS/Linux community? Do we really should care about what they did? Boycotts should have some strong reasons and I can’t find enough reasons to boycott Novell. But maybe I just read about it too much and too often so my head can’t handle it ;)

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 6, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    Gravatar

    Think of it as a watchdog-like activity. I don’t hate Novell. I used to be a Novell fan and I used to be active in the SuSE community. If/when Novell’s mistakes are pointed out, there will be more pressure never to repeat them.

    By the way, I was very pleased to read the news about Novell getting SLED preloaded on Lenovo laptops. It sounds like old news due to what appears to be Microsoft pressure behind the scenes. Lenovo made an identical announcement last year and retracted within days.

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