Previously, Shane talked about Novell’s mixed source identity crisis. Today, let’s focus on another aspect, which is Novell’s assimilation to Microsoft. This makes Linux an obedient, passive second-class citizen rather than a leader.
To reiterate some old (yet very important) points:
- Fact: Novell hires .NET developers
- Fact: Novell makes its Linux desktop more .NET-oriented
- Fact: Miguel de Icaza, who heads the Mono project, acknowledges that patents are a concern
- Fact: Miguel de Icaza, a Novell VP, opines that OOXML is a “superb standard”
- Fact: Novell gets access to Microsoft source code (visibility)
- Fact: Novell works on interoperability in isolation with Microsoft
- Fact: Novell perceives patent ‘protection’ as a competitive advantage
- Fact: Novell implements Moonlight, which harms Linux by giving the illusion that Linux is fully supported (it is not)
- Fact: Novell’s implementation of an OOXML translator have assisted Microsoft’s fight against ODF policies in the United States and elsewhere
- Fact: Novell’s exclusionary work on ‘interoperability’ has helped Microsoft escaped scrutiny in the EU
- Fact: Novell’s exclusionary work on ‘interoperability’ has provided Microsoft with an excuse that helps them evade federal oversight in the US
- Fact: Novell pays Microsoft for Linux and open source software.
[Brad Smith, Microsoft:] But, as you’ll see in the press release it makes clear that on the patent side, we dealt with both of these sides of the equation. We dealt with the need for an up-front balancing payment, a balancing payment that runs from Microsoft to Novell, reflecting among other things the large relevant volume of the products that we have shipped. And you’ll see, as well, an economic commitment from Novell to Microsoft that involves a running royalty, a percentage of revenue on open source software shipped under the agreement
If you want Linux to stay Linux (as in “Linux is not Windows”), then do not choose Novell. Playing catch-up with Microsoft is the worst possible strategy. Paying Microsoft for Linux is a sin.