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08.10.07

Groklaw: SCO is Toast, Novell owns Unix Copyrights

Posted in Courtroom, Microsoft, Novell, SCO, SUN at 5:40 pm by Shane Coyle

Head on over to Groklaw for the scoop and detailed analysis, but the short of it is that Judge Kimball has issued a ruling on some of the summary judgments in SCO v Novell, and it is not good if you are a fan of SCO:

Hot off the presses: Judge Dale Kimball has issued a 102-page ruling [PDF] on the numerous summary judgment motions in SCO v. Novell. Here is what matters most:

[T]he court concludes that Novell is the owner of the UNIX and UnixWare Copyrights.

That’s Aaaaall, Folks! The court also ruled that “SCO is obligated to recognize Novell’s waiver of SCO’s claims against IBM and Sequent”. That’s the ball game. There are a couple of loose ends, but the big picture is, SCO lost. Oh, and it owes Novell a lot of money from the Microsoft and Sun licenses.

Of course, we all know that the writing has been on the wall for SCO for some time, that’s why Microsoft took to selling their Linux Right-to-Use Patent Licenses directly – and to more people than just Sun.

Here Come the Microsoft Apologists from the Open Source Initiative and the Linux Foundation (Updated)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OSI at 2:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Show your respects for a convicted monopoly abuser”

It is truly amazing. After all the abuse, certain people simply remain blind. They forget about all the crimes. They also believe (or wish to believe) that Microsoft will become gentler at times when it is most fragile and most likely to face extinction in the face of Google, among other paradigm shifts.

Sometimes you just need to show some hard proof rather than just say “get real”. Hopefully this Web site provides evidence of the fact that Microsoft has not changed. It gets worse and it gets more aggressive over time. It just knows how to hide its plans. The increasing intensity in wording that accompanies “Get the Facts” propaganda is a good reflection of this. Have you seen how blatantly (and openly)

Make no mistake about it, if you are using a Linux distribution, you are not a friend to the software giant in Redmond. For years, they have spread rumors and half-truths in an effort to curb any further attraction to Linux development. Unfortunately for them, this has not only failed miserably, but their own Vista operating system has become the ultimate pro-Linux marketing campaign with its bugs, bloat and compatibility issues.

This, among other reasons, is the motive for increased aggression. A Dell strategist projected and predicted that Vista would drive people to GNU/Linux. This emerged in an interview from LinuxWorld just a couple of days ago.

What bothers the mind are people who refuse to identify a convicted criminal. Can the Linux Foundation honestly say that we need to have “respect for Microsoft”? Is it just their public relations pitch? For a company that thrived in crime and maintains its existence in this way, “respect” should be hard to earn. “Respect” would be approval and acceptance of the fact that crime pays. From the article:

“There are some things that Windows does pretty well,” Zemlin said. Microsoft for instance has excelled in marketing the operating system, and has a good track record in fending off competition.

Although Zemlin advised against launching large scale marketing campaigns and against setting up a Microsoft-styled PR organization, Linux should acknowledge and address preconceptions about the software instead of denying them.

Jim Zemlin has held this type of view for quite some time. Maybe it’s a good thing because Microsoft-tied businesses will take him more seriously. It is the same type of thing which urged Eric Raymond to start with “Open Source”. It’s about image and perception. But how far does one go? Even “Open Source” is becoming a victim, as well as a doorway to invasion that hurts Free software, including GNU/Linux.

Matt Asay, who is on the OSI board, has responded to criticism.

Pamela Jones of Groklaw, whose opinion I value and with whom I normally concur, berated me for daring to suggest that we should welcome Microsoft’s participation in open source…

I know Matt because I have read his blogs for a long time. We even exchanged a few words.

Mind you, he is having lunch with Microsoft executives. He does not like Microsoft, but I believe he remains ignorant about their motive. They try to ‘buy’ the minds of open source/free software people, including luminaries. There is a long track record of such behaviour. In this case, they hold back protocols and interoperability, which Alfresco (where Matt works) needs in order to build and sell its services. Let’s not go as far as calling it “extortion”, “ransom”, or a case of “holding interoperability hostage“, but we might as well.

Take these words as though they are just a signal of warning. Microsoft ensures it controls some people who will approach the gate and open it for a Trojan horse to demolish an entire city. By no means do I imply that the people above are the drunk village idiots (as the legend goes). I respect them enormously, but this is just an alarming analogy. Some things are dangerous enough to justify caution, so alarms are truly needed.

OSI gets slammed by yet another man; actually, a man whose company used to be an ‘open source’ offender. He gathered some nerve as the following article shows.

Free software darling SugarCRM blasts OSI

Full of free software pride, SugarCRM CEO John Roberts has revitalized his attack against the Open Source Initiative (OSI) characterizing the organization as weak and confused.

After being the open source community’s whipping boy, SugarCRM now enjoys a position of power. Last month, the software maker agreed to place a fresh version of its flagship product under the General Public License v3 (GPLv3) crafted by the Free Software Foundation. This established SugarCRM as the most prominent backer of GPLv3 to date.

Whatever knocks some sense into their heads would be truly helpful. This OSI invasion is an extremely dangerous one, so it might time for rethinking and/or restructuring.

Update: there are others whose opinions intersect with this blog post. Here is a criticism of the Linux Foundation’s statement and here is some frustration with OSI.

The Patent Claims Which Made GNU/Linux Famous

Posted in FUD, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 1:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The following new article tells us that the sky is not falling and that Microsoft’s attack on Linux was actually a marvelous endorsement. It shows viability. It reveals Microsoft’s fear of desktop Linux, which a new filing confirms. Publicity and emotion may have brought several contracts with major OEMs.

After Microsoft’s announcement that their patents are being infringed by free/open source software, Linux and FOSS are getting more attention than ever from the mainstream media, and that can only be a good thing.

We am left somewhat worried because some businesses take a very Microsoft-oriented approach in their migration to GNU/Linux.

Using the .NET-Java interoperability software from Mainsoft, UZ Gent’s .NET development team will use the Visual Studio 2005 development environment to integrate its existing .NET application framework, 15 strategic .NET applications, more than five terabytes of data stored in an Oracle database, and an LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) repository into a highly secure, role-based WebSphere Portal environment running under Linux.

Businesses might wish to know more about their choices and the problems which Novell has introduced. For instance, if GNOME was ever to evolve and become GNOMONO or GNOME.NET, then we would be buried deeper in the quicksand. We fear that Linux might be getting ‘contaminated’ not by Linux companies, but by Linux companies that are controlled by Microsoft (see these two cartoons again).

Looking Beyond OOXML to Find Monopoly Abuse in SOA (Updated)

Posted in Europe, IBM, Interoperability, Microsoft, Protocol, Servers, Standard, Windows at 1:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It is worth starting off with a quick reminder.

The reason why the blog has revolved a lot around OOXML recently is well illustrated and demonstrated by this image which I created using the GNU Image Manipulation Program. We are dealing with a ‘puppet state’ scenario that affects not only document standards. It affects patents and the FUD they generate as well (see this cartoon with commentary).

The following article discusses OOXML, but it is focused on the fight over standards — a fight that primarily involves giants like Microsoft and IBM (Sun Microsystems as well, particularly in the case of documents). The article talks about Windows-only SOA protocols. It pretty much aligns with China’s description of OOXML (academics took a look at it and reported back last week). OOXML only works properly on Windows/Office because the written specification has many obscure ‘extensions’. OOXML is, in practice, tied to the environment that it runs on, which is not surprising given that OOXML is a ‘history lesson’, not anything that ever evolved elegantly. It is a non-standard, so ubiquity is the only thing driving its use and pushing for acceptance (as in “you will comply“).

OOXML is just one element among a large stack of deadly lock-ins. They are lined up in Ecma like cannonballs. It’s all about Windows and all about Office, Exchange, IIS, and so forth. Let’s turn our attention to similar issues that Microsoft is gradually introducing in the world of SOA. From the article:

Mills provided further contrast between IBM and Microsoft, saying that, in SOA, IBM takes vertical approaches to automation around inventory management and transaction control, and makes these horizontal processes.

“We want to be frictionless in transactions as we rethink business-processes models,” said Mills. “Transaction integrity requires sustained access flow, and Microsoft doesn’t do that. Microsoft is about passing messages from one Windows-based system to another, not about involving the transaction function.

This is not exactly news. This information has made the rounds for a while and it drew a lot of criticism. Here are a couple of examples, starting with Dana Gardner:

Microsoft absent from open standards movement around SOA

Now, a new series of SOA standards is headed to OASIS, ones that could create a whole market segment around SOA common programmatic principles, but Microsoft is nowhere in sight. The absence of Microsoft from the Service Component Architecture (SCA), and its sibling Service Data Objects (SDO), definitions process can mean one thing: Microsoft will pursue its proprietary approach of baking pseudo-SOA into its operating system stack as long as it can.

From John Newton:

Microsoft needs REST

Yaron Goland defended his Microsoft colleague, Dare Objasanjo, as a poor sitting duck. He justifies the decision to scrap APP as tactical and not strategic. He states: “We considered this option but the changes needed to make APP work for our scenarios were so fundamental that it wasn’t clear if the resulting protocol would still be APP… I also have to admit that I was deathly afraid of the political implications of Microsoft messing around with APP.” According to Goland, “we couldn’t figure out how to use APP without putting an unacceptable implementation and performance burden on both our customers and ourselves.”

The implications for this APP vs. Web3S debate can potentially be enormous. Just as we are on the brink of creating simple architectures that are interoperable using simple standards, the industry risks splitting into separate, incompatible camps again. It is probably no coincidence that we have Microsoft on one side and Google, IBM and Sun on the other. This will be a fundamental problem for enterprise customers if Microsoft extends this strategy into any REST architectures that it introduces into the enterprise. Any enterprise systems that expose their data using APP, which is likely in the near future, will be incompatible with any Microsoft system that expose their data with Web3S.

Is anyone surprised by this? A quick look at the Halloween memos reveals Microsoft’s mode of thinking.

By the way, if you are by any chance trying to figure out Microsoft’s policy toward standards, particularly in the context of ODF-EOXML, that same Microsoft page is revelatory, Microsoft’s answer to what the memo meant when it said that Microsoft could extend standard protocols so as to deny Linux “entry into the market”:

Q: The first document talked about extending standard protocols as a way to “deny OSS projects entry into the market.” What does this mean?

A: To better serve customers, Microsoft needs to innovate above standard protocols. By innovating above the base protocol, we are able to deliver advanced functionality to users. An example of this is adding transactional support for DTC over HTTP. This would be a value-add and would in no way break the standard or undermine the concept of standards, of which Microsoft is a significant supporter. Yet it would allow us to solve a class of problems in value chain integration for our Web-based customers that are not solved by any public standard today. Microsoft recognizes that customers are not served by implementations that are different without adding value; we therefore support standards as the foundation on which further innovation can be based.

It is rather sad that Microsoft descends to such filthy tactics. Instead of marketing and introducing superior products, Microsoft strives to sabotage progress of its rival by breaking interoperability (if not the products themselves). This isn’t just happening on the desktop (OOXML) and in the server room (SOA). Microsoft also threatens to hijack the Web, so be very careful.

An industry coalition that has represented competitors of Microsoft in European markets before the European Commission stepped up its public relations offensive this morning, this time accusing Microsoft of scheming to upset HTML’s place in the fabric of the Internet with XAML, an XML-based layout lexicon for network applications.

For this reason, some large companies (IBM included) wanted Windows Vista to be made illegal in Europe. Of course, they never got their way. Microsoft can do anything it wants, especially in America where it has partial control over the government. The government itself is willing to travel overseas to defend Microsoft aboard (as we have already witnesses in the past).

Update: here is another new rant about Microsoft’s SOA strategy.

An Anti-Linux Dan Lyons Mind Replaced by Another Forbes Magazine Writer That Slams Novell

Posted in Deception, Dell, FUD, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Ron Hovsepian at 12:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I’ve Got the World [and Mainstream Press] on a String”

Novell marionetteAs many of you probably know by now, “Fake Steve Jobs” turned out to be a long-time anti-Linux shill called Dan Lyons. He lobbied for SCO and Microsoft in Forbes Magazine. He is possibly responsible for the shutdown of Show Us the Code campaign. Along with the controversial Maureen O’Ghara, he is also responsible for Groklaw smear campaigns and he mentioned BoycottNovell in Forbes a couple of months ago. Shane and I have our party hats (made out of tinfoil) ready. ;-)

Lyons has more recently published some memorable articles such as “Microsoft Linux” (upon the Novell deal on November 2nd) and something along the lines of “The Man Who Will Kill Linux”, referring to Richard Stallman. The infamous man never escaped controversy and he might now even be sued, having been exposed after blogging anonymously. Can he keep his job at Forbes? We are probably not qualified to speculate here. WANAL.

Forbes happens to have more extensive army of shills with corporate agendae. The following new article about Novell’s health (or lack thereof) comes from one of them. Here is how it begins.

Poor Novell. First it got beat up by Microsoft. Then it got in a turf war with Red Hat over open-source software. The new strategy: Make some friends, fast.

We don’t usually defend Novell, but Novell coverage in Forbes is dripping with bias, which is why we urge you never to trust the press on these matters. The press is not shallow, it is just self serving. Journalists are motivated by advertisers and hidden motives.

Having watched articles from Brian Caulfield for a while, this one was not too bad. This time he did not characterise Richard Stallman as a weird guy with a beard or open source software as something that comes from “geeks”. He did this before. He has clearly not yet descended to Dan’s level, yet (anonymous blogging, SCO shilling, anti-Stallman slurs in Forbes Magazine, and extensive use of words like “freetards” in his blog).

Forbes is virtually under Microsoft’s control. It is something for you to be aware of. Remember “Microsoft Takes on the Free World”? That was the article that officially opened the attack on Linux and Free software in May 2007. Where was it published? In Forbes. On a Sunday. Experts said it was written very carefully in order to intensity the dramatic effect.

In reference to the content of the latest article, Brian must be referring to bonding with AMD, Dell, and some other smaller companies, but there’s also the IBM collaboration (mentioned on Wednesday). Ron Hovsepian came from IBM, so he probably still have some special friends there.

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