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More on Jim Zemlin’s (and Novell’s) “Respect for Microsoft”

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell at 6:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A week ago we mentioned some apologists who fail to see what Microsoft has done to its rivals over the years. They are willing to let history repeat itself. Sadly, these people also fail to tell products and companies apart.

Some more rebuttals to Zemlin’s call to “respect” Microsoft have just arrived. They are definitely worth a mention. Don Parris had this to say:

Can you believe it? Given Microsoft’s history of antagonism, It’s hard to believe anyone – let alone the Linux Foundation – would call on the FOSS community to respect Microsoft. No, if Microsoft wants respect, they should get it the ‘old-fashioned’ way – by earning it.

After Microsoft has treated our community like rogues for nearly 20 years, called us Communists, claimed the GPL was ‘unconstitutional’, hijacked our terminology and accused countless thousands of hackers and customers of violating patents without giving anyone any opportunity at all to correct these so-called violations, now the Executive Director at the Linux Foundation calls on us to respect Microsoft?

The article from ITWire is similar, but rather than repeat the arguments above, we urge you to mind the following bits of information.

There are, of course, companies like Novell which have signed pacts with Microsoft, pacts which endanger the growth of Linux in the marketplace. Is this the kind of strategy which Zemlin had in mind?

There are people like Miguel de Icaza who try to tailgate Microsoft by developing open source versions of Microsoft technologies and hoping against hope that specs will remain accessible to them. Could Zemlin have meant this kind of strategy?


Judging from the CV available on the Linux Foundation website, Zemlin, clearly, has had no touch with open source apart from various marketing roles. It is claimed that he is “widely quoted in the press on open source and commercial software trends…”

If these are the kind of quotes he generates, it would be indeed wise for him to henceforth hold his peace.

The latter part sounds like an ad hominem attack, which Jack claims Ron Hovsepian has been subjected to as well.

Today, I took another look at Ron Hovsepian’s keynote address from LinuxWorld last week, and his message of “expanding, extending, and enlarging” the Linux operating system. Was the message tainted a bit by the fact that Hovsepian is a businessman at the head of the number two commercial Linux distributor in the world? Sure it was, but there were points to be gleaned from his talk that I think the Linux community would be apt to mull over for a bit before they jump on the Microsoft hating bandwagon.

Let’s make it clear that Ron Hovsepian has Novell’s SUSE (Linux) in mind, not GNU/Linux and not Free software. Taking ‘shortcuts’ at the expense of everybody else is no route to success. It just isn’t.

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A Single Comment

  1. Jack said,

    August 15, 2007 at 7:16 pm


    Point taken ;-)

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