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Novell Starts Talking Like Microsoft, Even Where IP is Invalid (Updated)

Posted in Asia, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Windows at 3:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mental symbiosis: joint minds think alike

This new report is rather disgusting yet by no means surprising. You really have to follow the names and attributions carefully here in order to know if it’s a Novell employee or a Microsoft employee being quoted.

Microsoft and Novell have announced they were expanding their alliance in making patent-protected and open-source programs interoperable into the hot China market.

The firms said on Sunday they are putting “particular emphasis” on China because increasingly sophisticated businesses rely on combinations of software based on Microsoft’s Windows operating systems and non-proprietary Linux systems.

Mind the insulting term which is “non-proprietary.” We spotted it before in an article about Colombia. It’s like saying that something is flawed with Free software; it almost rhymes with “not appropriate.”

You can read on to see just what type of language you are dealing with.

Microsoft and Novell believe big enterprises in China are willing to pay to have the US firms keep hybrid systems updated and running and for assurances that there is permission to use patented software involved.

The companies are marketing “supported Linux” in which they take a fee to maintain software systems blending the open-source programs with Microsoft products such as Vista, Office, Excel and Outlook.

“We recognize that our customers want to use Microsoft products in heterogeneous environments, and therefore we are pleased to offer this option to meet customer needs in one of the leading global markets,” said Ya-Qin Zang, chairman of Microsoft China.

“We are very pleased with the initial response in the Chinese market to our joint offerings for IP peace of mind and technology interoperability in such areas as virtualization and high-performance computing.”

Do some us a favour, Microsoft, and just buy Novell already so that at least the world knows what it's dealing with (and then avoids Novell altogether). As time goes by, Novell and Microsoft seem as though they speak the very same language and market Linux as though it’s a mixed-source supplement to Microsoft Windows which also is partly owned by Microsoft due to unnamed intellectual monopolies that have no validity at all in China (no software patents). If Novell’s Ballnux grows at the expense of Free GNU/Linux distributions, that will be harmful.

Choosing Novell is not a case of escaping the Microsoft monopoly. It is, however, a case of paying Microsoft via subsidiaries, Microsoft’s ‘Linux channel partners’ at Novell.


Updated: Matt Asay had a go at this one as well. Here is what he said.

I will admit, I am laughing as I type this. The news that Microsoft and Novell are taking their interoperability roadshow to China is hilarious on a number of different levels.


I bet! I suspect Nie Hua was crying himself to sleep at night before Microsoft and Novell approached him with this. You can just imagine his fretting: “How will I deal with the uncertainty of Linux’s intellectual property position unless Microsoft, which has attempted to introduce the uncertainty, blesses my Linux distribution?” Give me a break.


It is almost certainly true, however, that both Microsoft and Novell need to curry favor with China. Microsoft, because Windows is already free (as in pirated) in China. And Novell, because Linux is, oddly enough, pirated in China and to the extent that it’s paid for, Red Flag Linux dominates the market.

It says it all really.

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A Single Comment

  1. SubSonica said,

    April 21, 2008 at 8:01 am


    Non-proprietary!, nice attempt.
    They try avoid uttering the phrase “Free Software” by all means,as they want to replace it with “just-business-friendly-OpenSource” and then redefine the rules for opennes, of course devoiding the users of the possibility of re-distributing and passing the freedoms to others, and of course adding the compulsory patent-protection fee: In practice this is a way of proprietarizing Free Software, and it is what they are attempting to do.
    Remember Novell always was a closed-source company, very much as Microsoft is, and they embraced Linux -by buying an European company: SUSE Gmbh- as a last attempt at salvaging their server software product which had been almost fully cannibalized by Microsoft.
    They failed to do so as fast as they wished, and instead of resisting Microsoft threats as Red Hat (which has been a Linux company from the get-go) did, they sold out for some quick and easy injection of money.
    These proprietary companies now struggle to sidestep and obliterate the very concept of “Free(dom) Software” with name-calling (we, advocates of Free Software are portrated as “freetards”, “communists”, “extremists”, “zealots”, “partisans”, “idealists”, “unrealistic” etc…) and by term-omission, since for them “free” it always has the “no money” connotation (the old-business-minded type couldn’t care less about Freedom).
    They want to make sure nobody escapes their patent racketeering agreement and that there is no perception on potential customers that they can get software goods without spending money.

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