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09.06.07

Novell is Microsoft’s Favourite GPL Proxy

Posted in Antitrust, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Novell, Virtualisation, Xen at 11:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Letting ‘puppets’ do all the heavy lifting and dirty work

Novell marionetteA “puppet strategy” and a “proxy strategy” are closely related and the terms are almost interchangeable. We have already learned how Microsoft used Novell and others to empower the OOXML push.

A few weeks ago, Microsoft used Citrix as a proxy in its plot to steal XenSource from the Linux community and then subvert Xen’s roadmap. It’s a nice little strategy and Microsoft deserves credit for mastering the art of buying out its competition without getting the FTC’s attention. Microsoft acquires proxies and then uses them to suit its own agenda and pursuit goals. Miguel de Icaza is probably the leader of the proxy element inside Novell, but that’s not really the story which deserves attention at this moment.

Novell, as an entire company, is a tool for Microsoft to approach GNU GPL-licensed technology without getting ‘in contact’ with it. GPLv3 is a separate issue here, but here is a new writeup that aligns with the main argument.

It appears that the standard operating procedure for Microsoft will be to send open sourced partners into the GPLv3 car park.

How true and how sad. Citrix is no exception, but it’s not a Linux company. Citrix was said to have been a proxy that would ‘defend’ Microsoft from Xen’s GPL liabilities. It was an analysts who said this and it makes perfect sense.

Given the large output coming from Novell… or Microsoft… or Novell… it’s hard to tell at this stage who produces software like Moonlight… Novell must be Microsoft’s main proxy for GNU/Linux.

Novell’s Role in Hurting Samba and Free Interoperability

Posted in Intellectual Monopoly, Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, Samba, Servers at 11:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Xandros, Linspire, and Novell are all collaborating with this [MCPP] venom”Samba. Without it, many enterprises would be unable to put GNU/Linux in their datacenter. It has not been long since version 3, but the Samba team has just reached a milestone when it announced the availability of the first alpha of Samba 4. As you may or may not know, Longhorn (Server 2008) from Microsoft has the tendency to reject Samba. Some say it’s a coincidence, but Jeremy Allison heard a word about the Microsoft team being ordered to “f**k with Samba”. The truth might be hard to reveal, but we recently heard an admission from Microsoft that its poor support for Web standards in Internet Explorer was probably deliberate. A look back at similar examples and the Halloween Memos shows you just why this type of stuff happens.

In any event, here is another piece of news. Filled with disgust, we previously mentioned MCPP [1, 2, 3, 4], which is a vicious anti-Free software weapon that Microsoft created and adopted. Xandros, Linspire, and Novell are all collaborating with this venom. They help spread the thing that can poison the impending European ruling on Microsoft abuses. To Microsoft, Novell is truly a lifesaver here. It helps Microsoft escape the wrath of harsh litigation. Essentially, Microsoft bought its way out of the hands of the law. Why would Novell do this? And can Samba developers be blamed for their departure from Novell? Here are some bits from the article:

Five years after being pegged a monopolist, Microsoft is coming under scrutiny for efforts to license its proprietary technology in accordance with antitrust legal demands from U.S. and European regulators.

[...]

“We read the license,” says Allison about MCPP. “It’s impossible to release open source implementations of the product. You have to keep it secret. This defeats the whole idea of open source.”

These are, of course, the consequences of binary bridges. Those who are to blame here include Novell, Xandros, Linspire, and several others (outside the realms of the Linux industry).

When You Can’t Beat Them, Sue Them

Posted in Courtroom, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, SCO, SUN, UNIX at 10:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Yesterday’s patent du jour rant covered in brief the NetApp-Sun lawsuit, among other things. It did not take long for observers to respond. NetApp would claim that it isn’t “the next SCO” (Novell and Microsoft are tough competitors for inheritance of SCO’s role), but some others beg to differ. Here is Matt Asay’s take:

I know nothing about the validity of either side’s patent claims. Only a judge (or, more likely, a settlement) will elucidate either claim. But I have watched Microsoft respond to open source with patent FUD, and I’m willing to believe that others will fight back in this same way. I don’t know what NetApp is–Hitz argues pretty persuasively that there were other reasons involved–but I do believe that any company that relies on an old way of selling its software needs to respond to the open-source threat.

Patent suits are one way to do that. An ugly, and ultimately futile way, but a way nonetheless.

After what we’ve seen coming from Microsoft while Novell looked the other way (even perceived it as a competitive advantage), this should be nothing to sneeze at. Some say it is a another test case for open source software.

A knowledgeable blogger, who is also a king of rants, spilled the beans (and rightly so). Censored text below.

Now, this is enough to me. I don’t ****ing care who is infringing whose patents. It’s more and more clear that patents (all kind of patents!) don’t do anything to the benefit of the public. They’re not good for the humanity at large, but only to lawyers.

And when you see how two major IT actors are trying to make money from lawsuits instead of making profit from the technologies they’re supposed to develop, you have all the rights in the world to think that the current Establishment is broken.

Time for change. Time to stop a predatory and self-destructive industry where threats and fear are a driver, rather than actual development. Albert Einstein once said that the best things come from working in freedom (not in the restrictive environment and the shadow of IP trolls such as SCO). Nobody needs this. Nobody needs IP deals such as Novell’s, either. Novell plays the wrong game and takes the wrong side.

OOXML/ISO Watch: Microsoft May Have Broken Antitrust Laws

Posted in Antitrust, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML at 10:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Another antitrust reason for the DoJ’s shopping basket

Andy Updegrove, whose persistent coverage of this topic is admirable, has used subtle language to share his assessment of Microsoft’s OOXML affairs.

Appeals Court Rules that Deceptive Conduct in Standard Setting can Violate Antitrust Laws

While many of us have been preoccupied with the OOXML vote, the rest of the world has naturally been continuing to go about its business. One piece of business that took an interesting turn in the last few days is a ruling by a Federal Appellate Court in the United States that breaks new ground in protecting the integrity of the standard setting system. The ruling may also have relevance to the regrettable conduct witnessed in the recent OOXML vote.

Andy’s calm assessments have also got the attention of the German press, which is not too shy to alienate some large global organisations.

Bloggers like Andy Updegrove, who have been keeping a close eye on the ISO process for some time, have criticised the voting procedure. He complains that the irregularities reported from some countries have cast a shadow over the credibility of the ISO process. For the standards organisation, it is therefore of particular importance to demonstrate the validity and integrity of the final result, otherwise it threatens to damage the whole system. Updegrove also accuses Microsoft of failing to take the time to produce a decent specification in the first place.

There is a nice new assessment of the specification itself [PDF]. One truly needs pass on such information. Complaining about the briberies, the lies, and vote stuffing leads to nothing but distraction from the main issue, which is the large number of deficiencies in OOXML. Here is another technical take whose conclusion is as follows.

Seriously how can anyone even use this specification? I sure wouldn’t save my documents OOXML files.
As a technical person (system administrator) I just can’t believe someone ever thought this would make it as a standard?!?

As you may be aware, our site does not receive many inbound links because of its controversial name and its divisive goals. However, yesterday we received a link from C|Net. It came from Matt Asay’s essay whose headline is “If corrupt, vote for OOXML”. What a wonderful title, which we justified yesterday.

There is no place for corruption in a voting process and once corruption is detected, it absolutely must be addressed. Why should people be furious because no action in taken to reverse the problem or repair the broken system somehow?

Damn I’m infuriated by this. Technical decisions should be based on merit, not on depth of pocket. But now it’s not time to get mad — it’s time to get even.

ITPro has another nice article on the double standards for Microsoft and OOXML.

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