“The essence of a competitive market is its impersonal character. No one participant can determine the terms on which other participants shall have access to goods or jobs. All takes prices as given by the market and no individual can by himself have more than a negligible influence on price though all participants together determine price by the combined effect of their separate actions.”
–Milton Friedman in “Capitalism and Freedom”
For those of us who love proprietary software that is built by exploiting free software developers, a new product has just arrived. As you are probably aware by now, Xandros acquired Scalix and soon afterwards, just as we predicted, Scalix became the victim of a Microsoft taxation scam. A few months go by and Xandros reveals another clone of a Microsoft product, for which Microsoft gets paid.
Scalix is an open source mail server based on OpenMail, which runs on Linux servers, and uses e-mail standards such as POP, IMAP, SMTP, MIME and works with any standard Lightweight Directory Access Protocol directory.
- It is proprietary;
- It uses non-standard protocols (industry standards which Microsoft kindly ‘extended’); and
- The company licenses protocols from Microsoft (i.e. awards Microsoft for its objection to standards).
In simpler terms, here were have a proprietary software product which is only built upon open source technology and uses (also pays for) Microsoft protocols.
“In simpler terms, here were have a proprietary software product which is only built upon open source technology and uses (also pays for) Microsoft protocols.”For the same reasons, as ‘taxation’ above shows, there is a good reason to avoid OOXML and Silverlight, ensuring that they never become widespread. All these technologies present the same issue and are a reflection of the very same strategy which is to subvert the nature of GNU/Linux — making it something that Microsoft can more easily defeat.
In the title we have once again used a tactless term (“Ballnux”), but we do try to stress a point. It’s the point that attempts are made by Microsoft to make Linux users pay Microsoft. What for? for Linux. It’s a sheer case of abuse because no patents have ever been shown. Having a generic/encompassing/umbrella/ term to describe products to avoid is needed and “Ballnux” was a good suggestion that came from a reader.
We apologise for using a strong word, but mentioning products like the Koobox (Linspire), Wizpy (Turbolinux), and Eee PC (Xandros) is just hard without issuing some sort of warning. █