09.05.07

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Novell’s Trust in Oxymorons

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Open XML, Red Hat, Ron Hovsepian, SLES/SLED, SUN, Windows at 10:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“She’s an abusive wife, but she her parents have a lot of cash”

Ron Hovsepian confusedLiaising with an opponent is a weird idea and an absurd notion. There are exceptions however. Where only standardisation is involved (to prevent or minimise mutual destruction, including damage to customers), this makes perfect sense. That’s just what companies like Sun Microsystems and Red Hat have established with Microsoft (albeit Microsoft takes pleasure in adding proprietary ‘extensions’ sooner or later). The idea of agreeing on and using vendor-independent standards is similar to a treaty or a truce at times of war. It is a case of living in peace and co-existing.

Novell’s approach towards Microsoft is a bizarre one. It is a one-way relationship. Novell implements OOXML, it embraces .NET, and it pays Microsoft for various privileges which Microsoft claims are needed due to ownership. Novell has become a weak and abused spouse, yet it does not seem to mind. Can Novell and Microsoft sell products together? Of course not, if only because they compete. If they ever do collaborate, then it’s akin to long-time rivals like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates shaking hands for the camera. It’s about image. They still compete (sometimes very fiercely).

Novell’s NetWare income declines primarily because of Microsoft and here is another new example from the new where Novell competes directly with Microsoft.

Microsoft and Novell may be working together on some areas of technology, but the two firms will soon be going head-to-head in the market for improved enterprise configuration management.

So, they truly do compete. Microsoft still has anti-Linux ads all over the Web and its boasts various ‘studies’ on its Web site. As for Novell, being the submissive one, it has torn down its ads which compare SLED and Windows. So where is the mutuality? Novell continues to be nothing but a tool for Microsoft to use. It is a proxy that enables Microsoft to make decisions for Linux and make changes ‘on behalf’ of Linux users. This is bad and the only thing worse is the fact that people remain blind to this.

How about Microsoft getting friendlier towards open source? Don’t hold your breath. It’s all self-serving and even unwelcomed by Microsoft MVPs.

Should Microsoft Really Bundle Open Source Software?

[...]

Microsoft doesn’t provide a GridView, tells us developers that’s all we’ll ever need for displaying data, and then closes the door on other control vendors who might want to provide developers with an alternative grid control. Hell no.

Instead, they make it easy for control vendors to provide their own controls and have a first-class integrated experience (with design time support etc…) within the Visual Studio IDE because they recognize they don’t have the bandwidth to build everything top shelf. This sort of forward thinking should apply anytime they plan to ship a crappy stopgap implementation.

Say No to MonoSo there you have it. Microsoft’s bundling of open source software is semi cooked. The good news is that Eric Raymond witnessed the events which revolved around the OOXML fiasco. As such, he is likely to vote against Microsoft’s membership and affiliation with the realms of Free software and open source. While Novell let Microsoft cross the bridge and enter its gates, other refuse to do so. Sadly enough, many of us share the same village, so we are likely to suffer from projects such as Moonlight and OOXML, whose actual birth is the curse, not their use.

“…back in the 80s, Bill Gates said he was aiming for world domination”Microsoft continues to buy its competitors or pay them to change their direction (in Microsoft’s favour). The most recent example is XenSource. The Financial Times has a new article on Europe’s attempt to restore innovation (through competition) with the approach of the September 17th decision day. If Novell plays a role in this decision, then sadly enough, it’s in favour of Microsoft.

I was very recently told that, back in the 80s, Bill Gates said he was aiming for world domination. He made a statement like this in an interview. At times when government regulation simply fails miserably (antitrust action in America was recently — and oddly enough — declared a success), there’s little hope for change. If Microsoft is also allowed to invade its rivals’ territory by paying a few seniors (remember Ron Hovspeian, Kevin Carmony, and Andy Typaldos, who apparently has links with ‘neo-Nazi’ U.S. Labor Party) against employees’ will, then it can tear apart entire companies and communities.

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2 Comments

  1. Zaine Ridling said,

    September 5, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    Gravatar

    It also makes you wonder if companies take these agreements seriously. It’s as if they shake hands, as you say, but then walk away and go back to business as usual with the clear exception: don’t sue us, we won’t countersue. Employees don’t matter to them, never did. Moreover, I wonder if the Microsoft deal did not significantly slow down development on their SLED product, as release schedules continue to slip.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 5, 2007 at 11:51 pm

    Gravatar

    One of the cross references which I included is this:

    http://boycottnovell.com/2007/08/26/suse-developers-departure/

    I know that Novell has been hiring .NET developers aggressively. They gave it away in an interview. I can’t recall if it was de Icaza or Steinman, but I can find it because we wrote about it.

    As you say, CEOs care about their own benefit first, which is why a substructure that includes a board of directors and representatives for developers (like Jeremy Allison) must be involved. If you take a look at our interview with Jeremy Allison, you’ll see that he warned them. He was later kicking himself (not literally) for not pressuring Novell to reject the deal when Microsoft introduced the all nasty bits (at the 90th minute, not by coincidence).

    If Novell continues its disservice (and yes, as far as I can tell, Novell does a lot of long-term damage to Linux and Free software), then I think Ron Hovsepian needs to be sacked. They has a wonderful product in 2006 (SLED 10) and they were well set and prepared to take the world by storm. Microsoft saw this, and it responded.

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