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01.17.08

Pamela Jones: It’s Goodbye to Mandriva (Updatedx2)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Mandriva, Microsoft, Patents, Turbolinux at 12:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[Important (18/01/07): as the comments at the bottom indicate, Microsoft is in no way involved in this deal, so Pamela’s assumptions were incorrect.]

Mandriva promised not to sign a patent deal, but according to PJ of Groklaw, the Mandriva-Turbolinux collaboration is bad news indeed.

[PJ: I guess this is goodbye then, for me, as far as Mandriva goes. I've used it for years and really loved it, and I thank them for helping me get to use Linux. But TurboLinux signed a patent deal with Microsoft, joined Ecma to help out with MSOOXML, participates in the Interoperability Vendor Alliance, uses Windows Media and made Live Search the default. So you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know what all that means. Since Mandriva and Turbolinux are sharing code now, I don't trust the code so it's a fond farewell from me.]

Is it possible that this isn’t anything like reviving a United Linux and more of a quiet way to enter an agreement which involves patents (remember that Turobolinux got started only with a Microsoft technical collaboration)? If so, what does it say about Dell joining the Novell/Microsoft deal — whatever that means?

About yesterday's cross-licensing deal, there’s no mention of Linux, but Groklaw seems to confirm the fears over Microsoft’s plan with patents, as explained just a couple of hours ago.

[PJ: This has nothing to do with the GPL, but I wanted to show you what I believe will replace patent infringement lawsuits if the patent reforms currently being considered pass. Stuff like this, where one side sits on the other and then they do a deal where one side pays but both get access to each other’s patents to induce acceptance. I think you can extrapolate as to what it would mean for the GPL. What big companies probably hope it means is they win.

Put simply, lawsuits are replaced by ‘Linux tax’. By changing laws (legalising software patents), proprietary software companies strive to marginalise Free software.

Update: Another source begs to disagree.

However, this joint lab does not mean that we share the agreement with Microsoft, Mandriva still tries to stay as free and open as possible, as Anne explained on the cooker ML.

Hopefully, the latter is absolutely correct.

Update #2: Another good article sheds light on the (non-)issues:

The delay in the announcement is particularly interesting, especially for the fact that last October was also the month that Microsoft and TurboLinux entered into a collaboration agreement, complete with the ever-dubious patent agreements.

Seeing as Mandriva had refused to enter such an agreement with Microsoft, it may have wanted the dust to settle on the Microsoft/TurboLinux deal before going public on the partnership. This was probably worsened by the fact that it was in open conflict with Microsoft over a deal with the Nigerian government. Mandriva accused the Redmondians of hijacking the deal, but eventually won the contract.

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50 Comments

  1. Yuhong Bao said,

    January 17, 2008 at 3:47 am

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    The Mandriva-Turbolinux collaboration connects to MS only indirectly, however.

  2. Stan Kain said,

    January 17, 2008 at 9:10 am

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    I’ve been happily using Linux for the past three years. Of the several distributions I’ve tried, it seems that OpenSUSE and Mandriva have been the best for me. Wireless and my hardware work, as well as things like video driver installation, without being forced to jump through a load of hoops. I’ve tried several versions of Ubuntu, during that time and yet to have managed a satisfactory installation.

    So, at least in my case, whoever collaborates with what, I’m sticking with what works.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 17, 2008 at 9:26 am

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    Stan, I like Mandriva too. I used Mandrake on two boxes of mine and, as things begin to become clearer (mind the second update), it doesn’t look as bad as Pamela made it seem. While posting this shocking thing I also started a thread in Groklaw and I will try to clarify everything and have PJ retract. By the way, I was a SUSE user at home and at work before the Novell/Microsoft deal. I’d hate to see Mandriva go. I trust the company’s CEO.

  4. Dean Pannell said,

    January 17, 2008 at 9:37 am

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    I see the phrases “patent deal” and “patent assurance” waved around like magic talismans — but I don’t see any details.

    In light of the GPLV3, what can these deals be?

    So long as they don’t violate licenses, I don’t begrudge tiny companies taking piles of cash from Microsoft.

    Heck, every time I see one of those “Mac vs. PC” ads on TV, I’m reminded that Microsoft money is what kept Apple from going under while Steve Jobs got the house back in order.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 17, 2008 at 10:23 am

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    I see the phrases “patent deal” and “patent assurance” waved around like magic talismans — but I don’t see any details.

    Have you seen them in the context of this Mandriva collaboration? If so, please tell. As I said yesterday, these deals terrify me and I missed a heartbeat yesterday at the sight of a truncated headline. As far as I know, there are no patent involved in this deal, yet I worry having seen how the Turbolinux patent deal (extension) came about. It started with collaboration on OOXML, i.e. against ODF.

    In light of the GPLV3, what can these deals be?

    Very tactless, if patents are part of them. ;-)

    So long as they don’t violate licenses, I don’t begrudge tiny companies taking piles of cash from Microsoft.

    The issues are different and there are many of them to consider. Where does one start? Consider the fact that Microsoft uses these deals to demand money from existing Linux users in major companies. Then, watch how Microsoft refuses to let Red Hat have codecs without a patent deal. There are many more issues that were covered here before.

    Heck, every time I see one of those “Mac vs. PC” ads on TV, I’m reminded that Microsoft money is what kept Apple from going under while Steve Jobs got the house back in order.

    Heh. Reminds me of a good quote:

    “Hey, Steve, just because you broke into Xerox’s store before I did and took the TV doesn’t mean I can’t go in later and steal the stereo.”

    Bill Gates (Microsoft’s CEO at the time)

    It’s particularly interesting in light of the patent settlements they have had, as well as Microsoft’s own ‘balance-sheet liability. Gates openly admitted that NT was “inspired by UNIX”.

  6. W. Anderson said,

    January 17, 2008 at 10:27 am

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    The comment by “Stan” demonstrates the ignorance that many users have of Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) like Linux, in that they appreciate and benefit from the Freedom of choice, excellent quality (overall) and reasonable costs of most FOSS software, but have no consideration for the perils against such benefits provided by ignoring the potential threats posed in Mandriva/TurboLinux deal, simply out of selfishness for what works for then – “at the Time”.

    Most FOSS users who truly understand the implications, will accommodate the “minor” deficiencies of programs that may exist in distros like Ubuntu – as one of the “truly” FOSS distributions, knowing that in a short time the impediments will be corrected by the thousands of FOSS developers dedicated to keeping these full options open to Stan.

    Such shallowness, selfishness and “instant gratification” is what Microsoft is relying on to wean users to them for later crushing.

    W. Anderson
    wanderson@nac.net

  7. Yuhong Bao said,

    January 17, 2008 at 10:38 am

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    NT was inspired more by VMS. Google for VMS NT for more info.

  8. Dean Pannell said,

    January 17, 2008 at 10:46 am

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    >Consider the fact that Microsoft uses these deals to demand money from existing Linux users in major companies.

    That’s a strange comment. Any Microsoft demands would be based on their patent portfolio, not their deals with Linux companies. Further, companies who weren’t impressed by SCO’s threats or Microsoft’s demands prior to the deals, aren’t going to be impressed by Microsoft’s demands after the deals. Well — there may be some really stupid companies, but who cares about them?

    >Then, watch how Microsoft refuses to let Red Hat have codecs without a patent deal.

    Which has what to do with anything? Never mind that the codecs are desktop stuff and Red Hat’s business tends to be servers, Microsoft’s codecs are theirs to license. Seems to me that Red Hat has made a lot of money without them. They’ll probably keep making money.

  9. Stan Kain said,

    January 17, 2008 at 10:47 am

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    W. Anderson: You are free to call my attitude “ignorance,” if you so choose. The bottom line is that if something doesn’t work, I’m not going to be using it. There are many “free” things in the world, but unless they fulfill some need I have, I don’t embrace them. Likewise, it’s very difficult to convince a Windows user that they should switch to Linux, even though they can’t get wireless to work, or any number of other functions.

    With Mandriva, for instance, using my Atheros based wireless card, about three clicks and wireless is working with MadWiFi. Other distributions, I have spent three days trying to accomplish the same feat. That’s not the way to switch Windows users to Linux or any other O/S.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 17, 2008 at 10:53 am

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    Yuhong Bao,

    You are correct, but I was merely telling you what Bill Gates had claimed. Hold on actually, I’ll grab a quote for you.

    Okay, got it. It’s here: NT influenced by Unix

    While we’re at it, consider:

  11. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 17, 2008 at 11:00 am

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    Dean,

    That’s a strange comment. Any Microsoft demands would be based on their patent portfolio, not their deals with Linux companies. Further, companies who weren’t impressed by SCO’s threats or Microsoft’s demands prior to the deals, aren’t going to be impressed by Microsoft’s demands after the deals. Well — there may be some really stupid companies, but who cares about them?

    Brad Smith and another IP chief at Microsoft spoke about this back in May. Jeremy Allison told us about it beforehand. For all I can tell/remember, Microsoft was using Novell as ‘proof’ that “open source is not free” (Steve Ballmer’s words, as quoted by TechWorld).

    Which has what to do with anything? Never mind that the codecs are desktop stuff and Red Hat’s business tends to be servers, Microsoft’s codecs are theirs to license. Seems to me that Red Hat has made a lot of money without them. They’ll probably keep making money.

    Microsoft established precedence. It established a new model after Novell approached it in the middle of 2006. Had it not been for the Novell deal, I doubt we would have seen any of the deals which followed. The only prominent ones predating it were the Zend deal and the XenSource deal, none of which involved patents.

  12. Dean Pannell said,

    January 17, 2008 at 11:20 am

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    >Had it not been for the Novell deal, I doubt we would have seen any of the deals which followed.

    Don’t know.

    What I do know is this:

    I was working at a very large financial services company when the Novell deal went down — and when SCO was making all of its noise.

    They adopted a policy of moving from AIX machines to Linux machines. Nobody batted an eyelash at SCO’s rantings and nobody suggested ditching Red Hat for Novell in order to be “protected”.

    If anything, the Novell deal had the opposite effect – fostering the belief that Microsoft couldn’t feel very sure of its position.

    Companies that don’t already have Linux might have viewed things differently.

  13. Yuhong Bao said,

    January 17, 2008 at 11:27 am

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    >I don’t begrudge tiny companies taking piles of cash from Microsoft.
    If not for the fact that the deals makes it possible for MS to turn Linux into non-free software.

  14. Dean Pannell said,

    January 17, 2008 at 11:35 am

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    >If not for the fact that the deals makes it possible for MS to turn Linux into non-free software.

    The fact?
    Sigh.

    Here’s some reading for you:

    http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html

  15. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 17, 2008 at 11:45 am

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    Dean Pannell,

    You are not correct on this, I’m afraid. I’ll gladly write a long explanation if you wish, but when software patents are introduced, you have a dilemma to face because the new law (or New Order) becomes incompatible with the GPL. There are many other issues, some of which are to do with Novell’s work on OOXML and Moonlight. If you want a longer explanation and more convincing, please say so.

  16. r34r4w34tr said,

    January 17, 2008 at 12:14 pm

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    Forget it Dean, haters won’t be convinced by facts nor reason.

    This site really is such a laughing stock, I don’t know whether to feel pity for the nerds who reinfoce each other’s paranoia or be angry at them. Lately it has gotten too silly even for that.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a known (eet), pseudonymous, nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  17. Dean Pannell said,

    January 17, 2008 at 12:14 pm

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    Roy -

    I know the patent landscape has changed since I went to law school, but, but I’m pretty comfortable with my understanding of the issues.

    You, however, are relying on a giant logical fallacy:

    That the Novell deal changes anything.

    If the GPL is incompatible with current law, it is incompatible with current law regardless of Novell’s or anybody else’s deals.

    As to Novell working on OOXML and Moonlight, I couldn’t care less. Sun sided with Microsoft in it’s ISO hearings. How much worse is it for Novell to earn some corporate cash by working on OOXML stuff?

    OOXML is a big steaming pile of crap, but it’s a big steaming pile of crap that people are going to use by virtue of Microsoft Office market penetration.

    I suppose there is some benefit to cutting free software out of some potential markets…

  18. Chris Cox said,

    January 17, 2008 at 3:11 pm

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    Novell’s community punishment stems from the fact that paying to protect their customers from potential legal nuisances was considered wrong. However, let’s assume that we say that Microsoft needs to sue Red Hat or SUSE (or other) with regards to patent infringement (Microsoft owning a healthy patent portfolio).

    What would the outcome be? Well, if there is some success, one worst case is that all linux distributions everywhere would have to get pulled because they all share a common code base… but it would be strange… courts haven’t had to deal with something like this before.

    From a “threat” perspective, most do not believe Microsoft is ready to take this on just because the outcome (pro or con) is somewhat undefined (no matter what the ruling is, the application of the ruling is undefined and would be VERY subjective at best… and probably challenged for decades to come).

    What some are worried about is that Microsoft will not go after the distributions, but their customers instead. This is feasible when you consider how other monopolies have reacted to their customer bases (e.g. Intel went after their customers who had decided to use AMD in addition to Intel… we obviously punished Intel by creating boycottintel.com and by eliminating all use of Intel products… right?).

    Anyway, backseat lawyers seem to be ruling the blogs today. Personally, I think they’re clueless about how the “real” world operates and believe somehow in some kind of Utopian society.

    We all know, for example, that the decss libraries that many Linux users use to watch DVDs is from source code illegally reversed engineered (now that that reverse engineeering any kind of protection alogorithm is illegal in the good ole USA). People who placed the source code up on their websites, well a lot of them, got sued. A lot of the cases are still going on today (many, many, many years).

    I suppose the question is: how many years are we willing to go without Linux if a seemingly legitimate patent violation claim is made?

    Something to at least think about. However, if Roy, or anyone else here can say absolutely, positively that nothing inside of the Linux kernel or potentially any software delivered that we consider to be “important” as a part of a Linux distribution violates ANY patent… hey, be the source!

    My own experience with patents says otherwise. Breathing violates somebody’s patent… sigh…. (need patent reform instead of Linux supporters attacking other Linux supporters).

  19. Adam Williamson said,

    January 17, 2008 at 3:30 pm

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    The speculation is entirely baseless.

    Manbo is a collaboration to work on base system components: kernel, glibc and so on. It does not involve anything at a high enough level to involve any Microsoft technologies – it has nothing to do with office suites, media playback or any of that malarkey.

    The terms of the agreement explicitly include that it involves only F/OSS components and any code resulting from it will be released as F/OSS.

    The agreement does not involve Microsoft in any way, nor does it involve anything at all that TurboLinux may have licensed / made some sort of agreement with Microsoft in relation to.

    Isn’t it normal journalistic practice to ask for comment from the parties *actually involved* before reporting baseless speculation? It would be appreciated if this practice were followed in future.

    Please note that both I and your “another source” (Olivier Blin) work for Mandriva, and Olivier is directly involved in this initiative. It would be appreciated if you would post an update at the *top* of the story clarifying that is baseless speculation which we specifically deny.

  20. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 17, 2008 at 7:18 pm

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    Thanks, Adam. I’ll do just that. I’ve also brought it to the attention of Groklaw.

  21. Vexorian said,

    January 17, 2008 at 7:47 pm

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    Isn’t it normal journalistic practice to ask for comment from the parties *actually involved* before reporting baseless speculation? It would be appreciated if this practice were followed in future.

    Could we please stop the BS already? :) , I mean it is nice to talk about what normal or good journalism is, but blogs aren’t supposed to be journalism, I just hope the world stops expecting to use complaints about what good journalism is towards blogs…


    Anyways I see some usual comments around so, let me make a lot of replies.

    I am sticking with what works
    Is it worth it? I don’t think SUSE is the only working distro and I seriously doubt there would be so many differences between ubuntu and it, from my experience all distros are mostly the same , with the difference being mostly packaging, I prefer ubuntu’s , but I think that with Fedora, PCLinuxOS and Mandriva out there, we don’t really need openSUSE and its links to Novell which has been so harmful after their deal, really.

    Paranoid nerds
    Every once in a while, someone will try to reduce founded criticism into paranoia or geek stuff or zealously, nobody does it better than our local troll, but it is unfortunately not as easy, I am a Microsoft basher for the fact their monopoly and tactics are not doing any good to us, consumers. And I think I am above all a consumer and thus would like this to change.

    Novell’s deal doesn’t change anything
    This is not true, and I am just saying this out of Novell’s actions, advocacy of things like Silverlight and optionally-open XML are harmful, and the attempts (very clear to me) to make Ballnux a requirement for you to run GNU are bad. Anyways, in the context of the patent deal and software patents, Dean, the deal really changes it since Novell gets “collaboration” from Microsoft, in terms that are not the GPL but a bunch of patent (“IP”) legal gibberish …

    We already lost! (regarding OOXML)
    Every time I read something along the lines of “OOXML will win anyway because of Office” I feel very bad for us. I for one don’t like to give up just because of MS’ power or whatever. We should always look for what’s better for the consumers and freedom and that stuff, and let me tell you something, nobody has ever won anything by giving up. Even if we lost this one already, why not fight it? If we refused to fight (or complaint, or criticize, even bitch) now, then it will simply be easier for MS to do worse things later.

    And MS doesn’t always win, look at the Zune, look at software patents in Europe (or lack of), look at Samba. Look at Red Hat and many others still doing Linux business without having to give up to some FUD.

    Regarding the mandriva deal, I must say that although I didn’t like Novell’s deal originally I didn’t begin criticizing Novell before their actions, the deal itself was pretty bad (in the sense you pay a tax to MS for SUSE enterprise, to say the least) But after all, it was Novell’s own actions what I didn’t like. This said, this Mandriva deal doesn’t look like much, besides of collaborating with an MS lackey (not different from what Canonical does with Linspire, unfortunately)

    I say, let’s judge for actions, I personally don’t think Mandriva has changed or sold out its ethics like Novell did, perhaps this is just wishful thinking, but I don’t think this deal is too problematic.

    Sun sided with Microsoft in it’s ISO hearings

    If anything this would speak bad for Sun rather than making Novell look good, regardless I want a link please.

  22. Dean Pannell said,

    January 18, 2008 at 6:24 am

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    Oh Vexorian, please, please, please learn to understand the notions of context and subtlety.

    For example:

    That the Novell deal changes anything.

    That appeared in tne context of patent law and the GPL. That means its scope is limited to that topic, unless stated otherwise.

    Everything anybody does changes something. It should be obvious that the Novell deal changed things over at Novell. The company has lots more money and is now engaged in some activities it would not have been.

    Doesn’t change anything on my Ubuntu boxes, my PCLOS live CD, my rescue/recovery disks, even my openSuse workstation. That stuff is covered by assorted free software licenses. The biggest threat to any of my machines right now is the GNOME-ish direction SuSE is taking. Ubuntu has convinced me that I really am a KDE guy.

    We already lost! (regarding OOXML)

    Who’s saying that? Nobody that I’ve seen.

    You may need to go back and do a little bit of research on the subject of “lock-in”. That is the tendency for proprietary vendors to lock their client’s into continued use of their products via format changes, etc.

    Lock-in means that lots of people — particularly people in organizations — will continue to use Microsoft Office. For a variety of reasons, it is tough for an organization to go cold-turkey on Office.

    It is completely reasonable to say “Who cares?”. There is no compelling need to provide any sort of support for OOXML in free software.

    Unless, of course, you’d like to encourage those folks over to our side of the divide when they’re finally ready to come.

    Or, you interact with any of those people.

  23. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 18, 2008 at 7:04 am

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    We already lost! (regarding OOXML)

    Who’s saying that? Nobody that I’ve seen.

    See Novell (Meeks does MooX), GNOME (Jody Goldberg, Miguel de Icaza, Jeff Waugh et al.), Bruce Byfield…

    Defeatism is a very bad characteristic, especially given that Free software would be nowhere if we didn’t believe in the power to bring change.

  24. Dean Pannell said,

    January 18, 2008 at 8:51 am

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    Roy -

    I think you miss my point.

    To say we should accept that OOXML is going to be in this world is not a “We already lost”

    If that were the case, we should have closed up shop long ago because Windows is in this world, along with Internet Explorer, Office, etc.

    And yet…

    We have things like WINE & Samba, file interoperability, etc.
    Living with OOXML is just another form of doing what we’ve done all along.

    That’s not losing. That’s doing what you do.

  25. Vexorian said,

    January 18, 2008 at 9:14 am

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    I don’t complaint about interoperability… …When interoperability is necessary.

    The thing is, right now we don’t really need it, OOXML is not MSOffice binary format, mind you begin using that docx extension will have many compatibility issues already with the majority of XP users out there already.

    Right now rushing into OOXML support is not doing anything else than advertising it (And giving it some hand to win at ISO, something, I really think the Free software community cannot afford) , it is not useful for users. Should really wait after the ISO vote to begin implementing a format that is not necessary to support right now.

  26. Vexorian said,

    January 18, 2008 at 9:16 am

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    Regarding GPL, it is supposed to protect us, but since the deal Novell has shown little respect to it, the video with Novell and MS talking about how they managed to overcome the GPL2 terms to do their little pact and all the work they focused on doing so, still worries me.

  27. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 18, 2008 at 9:31 am

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    The thing is, right now we don’t really need it, OOXML is not MSOffice binary format, mind you begin using that docx extension will have many compatibility issues already with the majority of XP users out there already.

    Supporting or accepting OOXML can be a case of killing ODF. The purpose of OOXML, among a few others, is to simply squash the international standard which government increasingly adopt for a variety of good reasons.

  28. Dean Pannell said,

    January 18, 2008 at 9:54 am

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    >Supporting or accepting OOXML can be a case of killing ODF.

    That’s what Microsoft would like to do, and they certainly flex their muscles in an effort to make it happen.

    With all of their market power, Microsoft will be able to make ODF go the way of apache, Linux, Mozilla, Java, Flash, and all of the other technologies that they’ve been able to kill off.

  29. rm said,

    January 18, 2008 at 9:54 am

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    Getting back on subject, I think that as long as there are not IP related royalties being paid by Mandriva to TurboLinux this deal should be OK. Otherwise, it could get muddy.

  30. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 18, 2008 at 10:16 am

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    @ Dean: so succinct, so true!

    @ rm: Adam insists that there’s no Microsoft involvement and he’s certainly one you can trust. Let’s hope it stays this way forever… and that it isn’t a case of having a drink at some bar before getting too drunk and ending up in some bed pregnant by a stranger. I hope you get the analogy here.

  31. rm said,

    January 18, 2008 at 10:54 am

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    Roy,

    If Mandriva pays TL an IP license, they are paying it to MS (indirectly). So, I want to know that this is not the case. Otherwise Mandriva may be tainted.

  32. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 18, 2008 at 12:09 pm

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    No, Adam can definitely be trusted and there is at least one other source which confirms Microsoft has absolutely nothing to do with the deal.

  33. rm said,

    January 18, 2008 at 12:26 pm

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    So why don’t they just flat out say that there was no IP royalties involved in the deal?

    http://blog.mandriva.com/2008/01/18/groklaw-mandriva-and-turbolinux/#comment-5060

  34. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 18, 2008 at 12:36 pm

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    FTA(nnouncement): “Signing he Manbo Labs agreement does not change anything to our policy or our commitment to Free and Open Source software and our position with respect to software patent, nor does it change anything to the statement we made about Microsoft partnerships.”

    I trust François. Is there something else that you see? If so, please share.

  35. rm said,

    January 18, 2008 at 12:40 pm

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    Just my distrust and paranoia of dealing with a company (TL) that has entered into a pact with MS. I too believe that François is honest. But, I just want to make sure that he was not blind sided.

  36. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 18, 2008 at 12:56 pm

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    Read this then:

    http://blog.mandriva.com/2007/10/31/an-open-letter-to-steve-ballmer/

    He has spine and he ‘gets’ it. At the moment, schools in Russia are deploying a Mandriva derivative and the government deploys Mandriva. Windows (Vista/Longhorn/Home Server) is a mess and even Microsoft’s embedded conference was canned a couple of days ago. If Mandriva stays strong for a while longer, it’ll share the jackpot. Did you know that Microsoft has lost over half of its cash piles in the past 2 years alone (aggressive stock buybacks)? I’ll give you the links if you wish to know more. These are Microsoft’s dark secrets.

  37. rm said,

    January 18, 2008 at 1:03 pm

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    Well, I am OK with giving him the benefit of the doubt for now, but I would feel more comfortable if Mandriva clearly stated that they did not pay TL any IP related royalties. Sooner or latter we’ll find out. So, if they did, they better state it now.

    As for the MS links, sounds interesting. What do you have?

  38. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 18, 2008 at 1:32 pm

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    Some of the following may be out of date, but you might find them interesting nonetheless:


    Microsoft Hides Its Mobile and Business Apps Divisions

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | The company is folding its two worst-performing divisions — Microsoft
    | Business Solutions (its business applications unit) and its Mobile and
    | Embedded units — into the Microsoft Business Division and Microsoft Home
    | and Entertainment units, respectively.
    `—-

    http://www.microsoft-watch.com/article2/0,1995,1990243,00.asp?kc=MWRSS02129TX1K0000535

    A Dozen Stocks For ’07

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | Millen also thinks $36 billion in planned share buybacks
    | will help the stock.
    `—-

    http://www.forbes.com/2006/12/05/stocks-markets-investing-pf-ii-cz_ag_1205stockpicks.html?partner=yahootix

    Microsoft counts on Vista to recharge stagnant stock

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | There was a time in the 1990s when shares of Microsoft stock seemed to
    | double every couple of years. 1996: college for the kids. 1998: a place
    | on Whidbey. 1999: early retirement.
    |
    | Times have changed.
    `—-

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2003437957_vista19.html

    Commentary: Microsoft needs more than just buybacks to lift its shares

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | Microsoft shares, which have been dormant for the last few years,
    | have been looking up over the last couple months. The Dow industrials
    | component has gained about 20% since hitting a 4-year low of $21.46 o
    | June 13.
    |
    | To help move things along, Microsoft not only launched a $40 billion
    | stock repurchase program that lasts through 2011, the company also said
    | its previously announced 4-year, $30 billion stock buyback program was
    | completed in just 2 years.
    `—-

    http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?guid=%7B685EFB89%2D5791%2D4E8B%2DAD6A%2D9688F5B6012A%7D&source=blq%2Fyhoo&dist=yhoo&siteid=yhoo

    Software Notebook: Microsoft’s cash pile isn’t what it used to be

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | But Microsoft has taken a series of steps to reduce its cash
    | balance. Specifically, by Microsoft’s count, the company has
    | paid out nearly $100 billion through dividends and repurchasing
    | its own stock in the past five years.
    `—-

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/309852_software02.html

    The Secret Failures of Microsoft

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | There is no choice involved; even most Linux users are forced to pay for a
    | Microsoft license in order to obtain a brand name PC.
    |
    | [...]
    |
    | They are bound to an oath to swear allegiance to Windows XP Professional,
    | and must never mention Linux and Windows in the same breath. If they step
    | out of line in any way, Microsoft dramatically raises their OEM licensing
    | fees and sends them to indoctrination camp, where they face chairs being
    | hurled at them by angry monkeys.
    |
    | [...]
    |
    | Why do Windows enthusiasts exibit much hostility to an obvious fact?
    | Because if they admit that 80% of the company’s revenues come entirely
    | from an OEM tax, and not from any choice on the part of consumers…
    |
    | [...]
    |
    | Microsoft’s decade of investments in WinCE and Windows Mobile
    | Smartphones have only barely matched the market share of Palm, which
    | itself is a run down company out of ideas. Microsoft couldn’t
    | out-maneuver the incompetent Palm within a decade of trying; now both
    | are ineffectually fighting over the dying PDA industry while Linux and
    | Symbian slaughter them in the smartphone arena:
    |
    | Symbian 75%; Linux 14%; Microsoft 5%; Palm 5%.
    |
    | [...]
    |
    | (many more failures listed)
    `—-

    http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Q4.06/2E6D9BB2-FE1B-4556-8389-67BD581FBCCC.html

    Microsoft exec dumped stock prior to Red Ring announcement

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | To make matters more murky, the sales were not registered with the Securities
    | and Exchange Commission within the mandatory two days of the transaction, a
    | result of an alleged “administrative error.” Microsoft has since remedied the
    | issue by following the “procedures required of late-filers.”
    `—-

    http://arstechnica.com/journals/thumbs.ars/2007/08/14/microsoft-exec-dumped-stocks-prior-to-red-ring-addresment

    Microsoft’s Bach sold more stock before Xbox news

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | Microsoft Corp. executive Robbie Bach sold $3 million more in company stock
    | during the period leading up to an announcement about a costly flaw in its
    | Xbox video game console than previously reported, according to a filing
    | Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
    `—-

    http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/microsofts-bach-sold-additional-stock/story.aspx?guid=%7BBECA3A50-EF33-4161-A111-A43BDC8B0462%7D&siteid=yhoof

    Insider Trading Hasn’t Affect Microsoft Stock – Yet

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | MarketWatch.com reports that Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s
    | Entertainment and Devices division, sold $6.2 million of Microsoft
    | stock just prior to announcing that Microsoft was going to have to
    | extend XBox 360 warranties to three years because of extensive
    | failures. The filings note that this was not part of any
    | scheduled diversification or selling program; this was a
    | conscious, unscheduled sale by the guy in charge of releasing
    | news that could affect the value of Microsoft stock.
    |
    | [...]
    |
    | Insider trading is a very serious violation of the law; just
    | ask Martha Stewart, who served five months in prison for
    | avoiding losses of $43,000 through trades that just had suspicious
    | timing (no insider trading was actually proven). This is $6.3
    | million that went straight into Robbie Bach’s pocket.
    `—-

    http://biz.yahoo.com/seekingalpha/070713/40947_id.html?.v=1

    How Much is Too Much?

    ,—-[ Summary ]
    | Microsoft says it will stick with Xbox. But with years of heavy losses
    | behind it, the pressure’s on for the gaming division to make good
    `—-

    http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/oct2006/id20061013_283856.htm?campaign_id=rss_topStories
    http://tinyurl.com/yxdr4j

    Microsoft stoic despite massive losses

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | If you were to judge by the PR rhetoric, you’d think the 360 was
    | an unstoppable commercial juggernaut. As usual though, PR lies.
    `—-

    http://www.gamerscan.com/articles/06/10/09/microsofts.massive.losses/

    Ecuador Tax Agency Closes Microsoft Branch Offices For 7 Days

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | “We have twice requested balances, payment reports and complete tax
    | information, but the company hasn’t given it to us, so in accordance with our
    | laws we have proceeded with the closure,” the SRI official in charge of the
    | proceeding said.
    `—-

    http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200710041610DOWJONESDJONLINE000810_FORTUNE5.htm

    Microsoft Office raid in Hungary

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | “Such behavior could lead to the exclusion of competitive products from
    | the market and violate European Union rules, according to the authority
    | known as the GVH.”
    `—-

    http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/07/26/ap3957835.html

    Microsoft’s past stock options practice poses questions

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | Microsoft in 1999 announced that it would end a policy of awarding
    | options at monthly lows and said it would take a $217 million charge,
    | though many details of that discontinued practice haven’t been widely
    | known, The Wall Street Journal said Friday.
    |
    | Those details raise questions about how Microsoft began the practice,
    | what prompted the company to end it and whether the way the options
    | were dated–at 30-day lows the month after they were
    | granted–influenced other companies, it said.
    `—-

    http://news.zdnet.com/2100-3513_22-6084617.html

    I’m not sure if this Web site will go offline soon. It’s going to reach the front page of Digg and the server can rarely handle that scale of loads.

  39. Jim Reddeck said,

    January 31, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Gravatar

    _______________
    Stan Kain said,

    W. Anderson: You are free to call my attitude “ignorance,” if you so choose. The bottom line is that if something doesn’t work, I’m not going to be using it. There are many “free” things in the world, but unless they fulfill some need I have, I don’t embrace them. Likewise, it’s very difficult to convince a Windows user that they should switch to Linux, even though they can’t get wireless to work, or any number of other functions.
    ______________

    Shame that some users are so myopic, self-centered and narcissistic that they cannot see the long-term implications of using only what satisfies their immediate needs. The immediate annoyances and inconveniences of migration to GNU/Linux and maybe even some commercial opensource apps will have a long term benefit to the consumer that this user apparently cannot see. Where does he think we would be if early Winapp users felt the same way?

    Shallow and unimaginitive thinking…….

  40. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 31, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Gravatar

    Some people honestly perceive GNU/Linux as “cheaper Mac OS” or “cheaper Windows”. They don’t bother to understand what put Free software where it is today.

  41. W. Anderson said,

    February 1, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Gravatar

    Most of those commenting on the Mandriva-TurboLinunux are grossly naive and selfish or simply do not care that such deal is against the GPL or Free/Open Software Software (FOSS) and model in principle.

    Trademark and Patent attorneys with whom I have talked extensively on this topic “unanimously” agree that such deal can and probably does indeed “negatively” impact Linux and it’s users, in legal ways that those persons who dismiss such claim possibilities have no legal knowledge or understanding.

    In fact many may be Microsoft groupies more that true supporters of the FOSS, and see only the benefits and advantages of Free software – at the moment – and without any regard for it’s health and continuation.

    W. Anderson
    wanderson@nac.net

  42. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 1, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Gravatar

    Trademark and Patent attorneys with whom I have talked extensively on this topic “unanimously” agree that such deal can and probably does indeed “negatively” impact Linux and it’s users, in legal ways that those persons who dismiss such claim possibilities have no legal knowledge or understanding.

    Could you please elaborate on this as much as possible? We wish to bring to light the reality of this deal now that it has sort of been shelved and people forgot about it, regardless of the consequences. Also, do read this newer interview from LinuxToday:

    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/01/20/mandriva-jvc-clarification/

    I am not sure what to think anymore. Brian, who is very conservative in many regards, does not seem to have much trust.

  43. W. Anderson said,

    February 1, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Gravatar

    To: Roy Schestowz

    Yes, It is confusing for those who are trying to rationalize that all these weird “software patent deals” and “nebulous agreements” are anything other than attempts by Microsoft and others – including signatories to these crazy deals for only purpose of getting funding, to subvert FOSS and the GPL.

    If the Software Freedom Law Center and most other Patent/Copyright/Trademark attorneys in USA say these deals hurt FOSS/GPL, why would you think otherwise, no matter what all the techno pundits say or think. They are running on emotion and guess-work, not reality or “true” legal knowledge of the situations.

  44. Dean Pannell (aka dinotrac) said,

    February 1, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Gravatar

    So…where does one find the opinion of “most other Patent/Copyright/Trademark attorneys”?

    Care to share?

  45. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 1, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    Gravatar

    S/He (Anderson) said; “Trademark and Patent attorneys with whom I have talked extensively on this topic “unanimously” agree…”

    If there are some quotes of names to add here, that may be useful, particularly if they speak directly about Turobolinux, Mandriva, or Manbo. IANAL, so I’m interested.

  46. W. Anderson said,

    February 3, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    Gravatar

    Hey Guys!

    Get busy and research these situations through “creditable” and “reliable” sources. Time and effort are required for any project.

    Contact Consortium.info and the Software Freedom Law Cente, at least. If you must pay to get good, qualified legal advice and consultation, especially in regard major FOSS investment, then it is worth the effort.

    For Mandriva/Turbo Linux deal, the Free Software Foundation – Europe is a good start.

    You cant just sit at home and hope someone – through a blog – is going to provide such education.

  47. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 3, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Gravatar

    If you must pay to get good, qualified legal advice and consultation, especially in regard major FOSS investment, then it is worth the effort.

    For that type of thing, funding would be needed and the personal return would be almost none. I know some people in the FSF, so maybe I should inquire.

  48. Dean Pannell (aka dinotrac) said,

    February 4, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    Gravatar

    >You cant just sit at home and hope someone – through a blog – is going to provide such education.

    Seems to me that you are the one who made an assertion and that you are not willing to back up.

  49. W. Anderson said,

    February 4, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Gravatar

    Look Dean,

    I stated what patent and trademark attorney have conveyed to me, through business projects and contact requirements.

    Let me reiterate – the institutions mentions in my previous comment can be contacted by you or anyone in regard clarifying various legal issues with regard these “deals”.

    You need to take steps and responsibility for yourself in getting more educated on this topic. I did for me – in line of business.

    There is no need for me to “back up” what I said were my experiences, since you can likewise do research and homework.

  50. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 4, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Gravatar

    I’ve just contacted Peter Brown. Someone will hopefully shed some light on this.

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