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06.25.08

Links 25/06/2008: Openmoko Distribution Expands

Posted in News Roundup at 4:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Simon Phipps Has No Idea How Badly Sun ”Screwed Up“

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM, SCO, UNIX at 3:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sun and SCO: truth revealed years later

A couple of days ago, Simon Phipps from Sun Microsystems said that the company ”screwed up“ when it comes to open source. Dana Blankenhorn opines that Sun is still screwing up. Here is the core of his argument.

But he isolates the “screw-up” to 2001-2002, when Sun was still a proprietary company. This is like a candidate for re-election blaming the problems he faces on a predecessor from the other party.

The fact is Sun is still screwing up. Offering open source licenses for key products is not all there is to an open source strategy. Transparency, community, and some ceding of authority are also required.

Sun not only screwed up in 2001-2002. Sun is still no friend of Linux. Moreover, based on this latest bomb from Groklaw, it was willing to let SCO continue its attacks on Linux, just like Microsoft, which even helped fund the suit. If true, shame on Sun.

We learn two primary things from Jones’ testimony: first, what a cynical role Sun played in the SCO saga, and second, that all the time SCO was calling on the world, the courts, the Congress — nay heaven itself, if I may say so — to sympathize with it over the ruination of its Most Holy Intellectual Property by it being improperly open sourced into Linux, not that it turned out to be true, it had already secretly given Sun the right to open source it in OpenSolaris. Remember all that falderol about SCO being contractually unable to show us the code, much as it so desired to do so, because of being bound to confidentiality requirements? What a farce. SCO had already secretly given Sun the right to open source Solaris, with all the UNIX System V you can eat right in there.

The simple fact is, I gather from Jones’ testimony, Sun could have prevented the harm SCO sought to cause by simply telling us what rights it had negotiated and received from SCO prior to SCO launching its assault on Linux. Yet it remained silent. When I consider all folks were put through, all the unnecessary litigation, and all the fear and the threats and the harmful smears, including of me at the hands of SCO and all the dark little helper dwarves in SCO’s workshop, I feel an intense indignation like a tsunami toward Sun for remaining silent.

Speaking of Sun, which may be too easy a target, what’s up with IBM? Glyn Moody wonders

So, for the sake of your shareholders and of the stakeholders in the open source ecosystem, I say: come on, IBM, pull your socks up and get stuck in again. Please go back to leading in this field, as you did a decade ago, rather than lagging as you seem to be today.

IBM is focused on Linux as a powerful tool and enabler, but it’s quite indifferent when it comes to Free software. It’s truly a step backwards.

Amiga UNIX

Microsoft OOXML: Lies, Whitewashing, Abuse and Vulnerabilities

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Security, Windows at 3:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

If it barks like a dog, it’s probably a dog

T

he sheer abuse surrounding OOXML cannot ever be denied (not without a guilty conscience). We wrote about this latest debacle yesterday and the day before that. According to the article from ZDNet UK, “Microsoft admits to standards ignorance pre-OOXML.” It’s summarised as follows.

Microsoft has admitted that, despite being one of the dominant names in IT for over 30 years, it had little or no experience or expertise around software standards until the company was mid-way through the process of getting Office Open XML approved by the International Organization for Standardization.

Needless to say, this is a lie. It’s an embellishment at best — some lipstick and a dress on a pig. Microsoft not only knew the rules, but it also knew very well how to abuse them. Remember these words from Jason Matusow, as highlighted by Andy Updegrove last year:

“There is no question that all over the world the competing interests in the Open XML standardization process are going to use all tactics available to them within the rules.”

This sounds like a crazy gambler who is willing to pull any dirty trick out of the book, does it not? It sure ended up this way.

What would the world have with Microsoft’s XML? Based on the latest news: nothing less than “critical” vulnerabilities (highest level of severity).

Critical vulnerability in Microsoft XML Core Services patched

Microsoft Security issued a patch today for a critical vulnerability affecting all supported editions of Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Microsoft Office 2003, and the 2007 Microsoft Office System.

Does the world really look forward to Microsoft’s XML ‘solutions’? More so with binary 'extensions'?

Steal Xen from GNU/Linux, Become Microsoft’s Partner of the Year

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, SLES/SLED, Virtualisation, Xen at 3:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Yes, it’s true. Citrix Systems, the company which grabbed control of XenSource roughly a year ago and then bent it in Windows' direction, is nothing less than Microsoft’s latest Partner of the Year. Sounds like a reward more than an award.

Today, Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS), the global leader in application delivery infrastructure, announced it has won the 2008 Microsoft Partner of the Year Global ISV – Infrastructure Special Recognition award. This award recognizes the global independent software vendor (ISV) for superior technology, delivering innovative infrastructure solutions based on Microsoft platforms.

Novell, by the way, is part of these virtualisation pacts as well. This new post from Network World reminds us just why

Another downside is that Hyper-V is sadly lacking much support for Linux, with the exception of super special partner Novell’s Suse Linux Enterprise Server 10.

What we have here is a case of Novell, Microsoft and Citrix+Xen versus VMWare (and just about everybody else). This has been clear for quite some time.

Microsoft Tightens Grip in Africa with Memorandum of Anti-competition

Posted in Africa, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 3:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

There is no understanding in a Memorandum of Understanding

Very recently we wrote about another Memorandum of Understanding, which serves as a method of excluding competition as a matter of principle. Realising loss of control, Microsoft seems keen on putting the shackles of obligation on whoever seems willing or can be compensated somehow.

The latest example and the latest victim appears to be West Africa.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission and Microsoft have signed two collaboration agreements to support social and economic development in Western Africa, according to an ECOWAS statement received here on Tuesday.

[...]

According to the statement, the two agreements, a Memorandum of Understanding and Technical Collaboration Agreement, focused on enhancing community technology access, driving local enterprise and SME capacity building through ICT, and leveraging the advantages of e-applications in the education and health sectors.

This is also covered here and there is a related report here.

Microsoft, the world’s largest software company, has signed an agreement with Comtel Integrators Africa that allows the latter to vend its products exclusively in the East and Southern African region

Remember what Microsoft did in Kenya and Nigeria quite recently in order to stifle GNU/Linux uptake. It’s about lock-in. It’s also about the young generation and a lot of corruption seems to be involved.

Microsoft Goes Fighting GNU/Linux in Open Source Conference

Posted in Asia, Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Open XML, Windows at 2:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When Microsoft attends FOSS events, it’s all about its proprietary stack

A

day ago we warned about Microsoft consuming even an open source conference in the Philippines, having viciously fought against it over there. It must be relying on people’s short memory span. We also warned that it would, as usual, deliver its own self-serving messages to the crowd. People among the audience were not impressed.

Microsoft to developers: ‘Open source is a choice

[...]

At the Cebu open source summit, Microsoft was telling developers it is ready to help them go “primetime.”

Microsoft’s presence in the summit drew quite an impact, if not harmless ribbing. In a presentation by noted IT entrepreneur Winston Damarillo, mentioning indicators that open source is ready for primetime deployment, one answer reads: “The number of times in a month Microsoft says: ‘We support open source.’”

“Do it with Microsoft.”

“Do it with Windows.”

“OOXML should be your format of choice.”

“Forget about freedom. Don’t touch the GPL.”

Yes, Microsoft has plans. It has a new strategy. See yesterday’s post for more details.

“People that use Red Hat, at least with respect to our intellectual property, in a sense have an obligation to compensate us.”

Steve Ballmer

OpenSUSE’s Slow Start: Only About 70,000 Installations a Week After Big Launch

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenOffice, OpenSUSE at 2:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

O

penOffice.org exceeds 1.2 million downloads per week without even a hyped-up launch. Firefox 3 will have exceeded 20 million downloads shortly (a week after its release).

With all due respect, OpenSUSE’s big release (11.x) is nowhere near some of the leaders of the GNU/Linux pack in terms of appeal. And it shows:

* more people downloaded the 64bit DVD (+4%)
* 63% more downloads in the first 30 hours
* approx. 65.000 installations so far, for 10.3 we had 40.000 after 6 days

A huge summary of OpenSUSE 11.0 reviews we will deliver at the end of this week. Meanwhile, someone from the #phoronix channel tries to use guilt as a deterrent against criticism. Some hours ago:


<vadi2> Hey man, just a question. If you’re on Gnome, when you go to Places – Search for Files, select ‘File System’ for Look in folder, and for search options, make it contains the text “novell”, do you get any documents shown?

Steve Ballmer rides SUSE<vadi2> If you’re on KDE, the equivalent of this
<schestowitz> What do you see if you try this?
<vadi2> A lot of contributions by Novell to my linux desktop. You?
<schestowitz> Oh, I get it..
<vadi2> np, just a small thing I found out yesterday :)


Well, OpenSUSE is not our target; Novell is. OpenSUSE will be fine even without Novell’s leadership. The mental association does it no good anyway.

Links 25/06/2008: Financial Times Covers GNU/Linux, KDE 4.1 Reaches Beta 2

Posted in News Roundup at 7:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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