02.01.08

Gemini version available ♊︎

Would Microsoft ‘Pull a Hula’ on Zimbra?

Posted in Deals, Mail, Microsoft, Novell, Virtualisation, Xen at 10:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Several days ago, the following article appeared in Bruce Perens’ Technocrat Web site. It announced the incarnation of Novell’s Hula, called Bongo.

In 2005, we thought that we had a solution when Novell released Hula, an open source version of Netmail. Unfortunatly, things didn’t went too far but it ultimately led to a fork called Bongo.

“What happened to Hula,” you ask? As we said at the time, it was competing against Microsoft’s Exchange, so it’s likely that it was dropped by Novell for Microsoft’s convenience (competitive reasons) [1, 2].

Now, with a bid for Yahoo looming, people have begun asking themselves many questions. There are endless hypothetical scenarios to consider, of which here is one:

Yahoo acquired the open source software vendor for $350m in September last year to expand its hosted mail and collaboration capabilities. It probably goes without saying that Microsoft isn’t going to want to maintain an open source alternative to Exchange, so would Microsoft set it free or take the opportunity to crush it like a bug?

The same type of concern we have had about Xen, which we repeatedly argue got snatched by proxy [1, 2, 3, 4]. Microsoft-Citrix acquisition rumours and speculations are nothing so new. Commission? Regulators? Where art thou? Some of the most recent strategic acquisitions seem to amount to nothing but harming one's rivals rather than about personal gain.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

7 Comments

  1. Alex H. said,

    February 1, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Gravatar

    It’s nice that you mentioned Bongo, thank you very much for that. I’m not particularly going to defend Novell, but I feel I should correct you: we don’t compete with Exchange, and neither did Hula. And Novell didn’t kill off Hula – indeed, it’s more alive now in some senses than ever.

    If you’d like to drop by Bongo’s IRC sometime I can tell you a bit more about what happened with Hula, but I can tell you it wasn’t sold because it competed with Exchange: if Novell wanted to give Exchange an easy ride, they would have dropped Groupwise instead, which is competitive. Netmail (which is where Hula came from) was aimed at a very different market (mainly ISPs and other scenarios with large numbers of users but low functional needs).

    Cheers.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 1, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    Gravatar

    Thanks, Alex. I’ve meanwhile found out about some possible complications for Zimbra (mentioned in the previous post about Zimbra). From Groklaw:

    http://www.zimbra.com/forums/zimbra-success-stories/14964-ms-offering-buy-yahoo.html

    [PJ: You'll find it interesting how the Zimbra forum is anguishing over a proprosed Microsoft hostile takeover of Yahoo! since it's obvious it won't wish to help Zimbra, a competitor to a Microsoft product, Exchange. Note how one forum member writes that the only way to protect it is if it is GPLd. I agree, actually, that it is the best license for protection against proprietary ruination. Sadly, they didn't think ahead and chose a Mozilla-like license, specifically to appeal to proprietary business partners. They could have chosen LGPL and achieved their goal, I think, as JBOSS did. GPL code is also available on some of the code, but there have been issues trying to get source. Now we see what mixed licensing results in. Trying to be FOSS and proprietary is tricky. Thousands of community members have written code for Zimbra for free. Happily, those who were sensible enough to protect the code with the GPL will be able to take it and fork. Those who chose other licenses will find that Microsoft is also a proprietary business, one that knows how to squeeze a license for all the rights it wishes to hold, and the full impact of that may fall on Zimbra. Live and learn.]

  3. Alex H. said,

    February 2, 2008 at 4:30 am

    Gravatar

    Cheers Roy.

    I’m actually giving a talk on this subject at Manchester Free Software UK group in March – see http://manchester.fsuk.org/blog/2008-meetings/#alex .

    I’ll be talking about the direct experience of forking a project like this, and to be honest the license is only a small part of it – being able to fork is key, but it’s only the first step on a journey of miles.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 2, 2008 at 7:17 am

    Gravatar

    I did not realise that you are from Manchester as well.

    Speaking of forks, Mike Little, who lives nearby in Stockport, co-founded WordPress with Matt Mullenweg. That was just several years back. I met Mike back in 2005 just after he had stopped committing changes and contributing patches (Ryan took over as Patchmaster).

    As you probably know, WordPress was a fork of b2, which was pretty much abandoned (I’ll post a link about this later). WordPress (or Automattic rather) received $29 million in funding at the beginning of this year, so you never know where you might end up as a 19-year-old college student from Houston or even an adult. Horde, which is another excellent project, is deployed here at Manchester University as well.

    I’m still lobbying for WordPress to adopt GPLv3. This will probably happen at the end. It’s seems like a question of /when/ because the development mailing list still has some GPL antagonists who use Tivoization as an excuse for resistance.

  5. ig said,

    February 5, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Gravatar

    It’s pretty clear that Microsoft would shut down Zimbra, just like they shut down Hula. This is the danger of using software that just barely qualifies as open source. The full version is proprietary and the free version is both crippled and badgeware.

    Over at the Citadel project [http://www.citadel.org] we are experiencing a big surge of interest this week as Zimbra devotees seem to be exploring their alternatives. As a true end-to-end GPLv3 open source project, we don’t have the danger of being bought out and shut down by Microsoft (or anyone else for that matter).

  6. Victor Soliz said,

    February 5, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Gravatar

    Point taken, ig. It seems as if these open source products with proprietary versions are the most likely to get bought by a big corp and be put on risk, QT, mySQL and now zimbra come to mind.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 5, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Gravatar

    MySQL will be okay because Sun Microsystems has a strategy that it more FOSS-oriented.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Is Linus Trolling the GNU/Linux Community?

    This new video responds to what many sites have been provoked into amplifying



  2. Links 27/11/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and SeaMonkey 1.1.19 in EasyOS

    Links for the day



  3. [Meme] Keeping Our Distance From Microsoft

    The OSI is the dagger, the Linux Foundation is the knife, and many others are the sword by which Microsoft tries to get into the very heart of GNU/Linux and extinguish the Free software movement



  4. Microsoft Edge Encourages Indebted Americans to Guilt-spend Just in Time for Christmas

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  5. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, November 26, 2021



  6. 38+ Years of GNU and 19+ Years of FSF Associate Membership

    “On November 25, 2002,” Wikipedia notes, “the FSF launched the FSF Associate Membership program for individuals.” As the above video points out, it all started almost 40 years ago.



  7. Gemini as a Platform for Gamers

    Contrary to what people often assume (or are led to assume), even without client-side scripting Gemini can accomplish a great deal; early adopters, many of whom are technical, test the limits of the very minimalistic (by design and intention) specification



  8. Improved Workflows: Achievement Unlocked

    Today we've completed a bunch of small projects that can make us more efficient (e.g. more Daily Links per day, more articles); the above video was recorded many hours ago to accompany the outline below



  9. Links 26/11/2021: New Complaint About Microsoft Competition Crimes in Europe, EuroLinux 8.5, GhostBSD 21.11.24, and Kiwi TCMS 10.5 Released

    Links for the day



  10. Links 26/11/2021: F35 Elections, Whonix 16.0.3.7, OSMC's November Refresh With Kodi 19.3

    Links for the day



  11. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 25, 2021



  12. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 24, 2021



  13. Links 25/11/2021: PHP 8.1.0 Released and Linux 5.15.5

    Links for the day



  14. IBM as Master of Hypocrisy

    Free software projects and Free software developers have long been humiliated by corporations of Western misogynists, falsely claiming that the Free software community isn’t inclusive enough (these are shameless projection tactics; as a matter of public record, the exact opposite is true) and even the eradication of supposedly offensive language isn’t something IBM takes seriously



  15. Links 25/11/2021: LibreOffice 7.2.3 and Mesa 21.2.6 Released

    Links for the day



  16. [Meme] So Desperate That Edge Cannot Even Exceed 4% That They Block Rival Web Browsers

    Linux/Android/Free Software/GNU (they go by very many names/brands) may continue to grow to the point where Windows is as irrelevant as Blackberry; this means that Microsoft’s grip on the Web too has slipped — to the point where Microsoft frantically uses 'bailout' money to hijack LinkedIn, GitHub, etc. (it also rebrands almost everything as "Azure" or clown to fake a perception of growth)



  17. Windows Vista Service Pack 11 (Vista 11) Has Failed to Curb the Growth of GNU/Linux

    Windows market share continues to decrease in spite of billions of dollars spent bribing the media for fake hype, especially in light of a new Windows Service Pack (SP), Vista SP 11



  18. Links 25/11/2021: Proton 6.3-8 and Linux Mint Compared to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  19. 3.5 Years Later the 'Master' of Fedora is Still Microsoft and IBM Cannot Be Bothered to Alter Git Branch Names (Refuting or Ignoring Its Very Own Directive About Supposedly Racially-Insensitive Terms)

    Today we demonstrate the hypocrisy of IBM; years after telling us that we should shun the term "master" and repeatedly insisting it had a racist connotation at least 65 Fedora repositories, still controlled by Microsoft, still use "master"



  20. Changing the Arrangement While News is a Bit Slow(er)

    I've made it easier for myself to keep abreast of things like IRC channels and networks (incidentally, a day ago Freenode reopened to anonymous logins) and I've improved monitoring of the Web sites, Gemini capsule etc. (this video is unplanned and improvised)



  21. Links 24/11/2021: Alpine Linux 3.15 and Endless OS 4.0 Released

    Links for the day



  22. [Meme] Jimmy Zemlin Loves Microsoft

    It’s funny, isn’t it? Lying for a living and sucking up to the liars pays off; you get to plunder actual Linux users while leaving Linux morally and financially bankrupt



  23. Links 24/11/2021: PHP Foundation and Flatpak Criticisms

    Links for the day



  24. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 23, 2021



  25. Links 24/11/2021: Rust Crisis and Team UPC Still Faking 'Progress'

    Links for the day



  26. Links 23/11/2021: New GNU Parallel and Memories of David H. Adler (Perl, Raku)

    Links for the day



  27. In Light of Fast-Accelerating Deterioration -- Sometimes Weaponisation -- Getting Off the World Wide Web (to the Extent Feasible) Makes You Saner and Less Susceptible to Manipulation, Lies

    Almost no sites are speaking about it (probably because they have no presence on the Internet except on the Web), but it's time to motivate more people to get off the Web, for their own good and for society's sake...



  28. Black Friday SPAM on the World Wide Web: A Reminder That the Web is a Dying Platform, Languishing Due to Marketing and Misinformation

    The junk that overruns the Web this 'Black Friday' week (consumerism 'on steroids') is a good reminder that the Web isn't healthy for the mind anymore; it's mostly spying on people, trying to compel them to buy particular things or vote a certain way



  29. Microsoft-Led Misinformation Campaign About Germany and Munich Reminds Us That Microsoft Hates and Actively Undermines GNU/Linux Adoption

    Regarding the latest moves to GNU/Linux in Germany we have 3 points to make



  30. Links 23/11/2021: Libreboot 20211122, Deepin Linux 20.3, Amazon Linux 2022, and Mabox Linux 21.11 Released

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts