EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

07.12.08

Reminder: Novell and Xandros Are Not Open Source Companies

Posted in Corel, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, Xandros at 3:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Free software companies? Surely, that would a joke

As a gentle reminder, Novell insists that it’s merely a mixed-source company [1, 2, 3, 4], a concept that even Microsoft is trying to adopt for public relations purposes. It’s easy to subscribe to this agenda because opening up 1% of your code (abandonware) and keeping your crown jewels closed is an easy responsibility to live up to. there is also costly dependency which a ‘mixed stack’ leads to. It’s a total ‘bastardisation’ of the original goals of Free software because to a large degree it involves exploitation of Free software, e.g. the ‘Google way’ a.k.a. free-riding. with minimal returns compared to the available capacity (Google makes billions of dollars).

When companies like Nokia and Microsoft pretend to be contributing [1, 2], then surely it’s nothing like Novell. The truth is that Novell does contribute some code; some fairly valuable code, too.

Nevertheless, why isn’t Novell assisting the Utah Open Source Conference? That’s where much of Novell is located. The following scoop is an eye-opening change.

…we’re going to have the UTOSC 2008 (Utah Open Source Conference, August 28-30, 2008) at the Salt Lake Community College, Redwood Road campus.

And Novell is not one of their sponsors!

I suppose this is not because Novell is not really caring about open source at all, right?

Recall what we’ve stressed many times over the past week or so (because of Xandros [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]): Novell is the next Corel. It’s losing its focus due to the deal with Microsoft.

Looking into the past, consider this new and excellent article:

Where Xandros is sold in a box, Ubuntu is given away free. Where Ubuntu is seen to donate code back to the community, Xandros and Linspire have developed proprietary extensions. Where Ubuntu asks for manufacturers to free their drivers, Xandros and Linspire have signed patent covenants with Microsoft.

Then there's SLED/SLES, and OpenSUSE which you can only use ‘safely’ provided that you don’t make money from it.

The article also contains an interesting history lesson on Corel. Is this Novell’s vocation?

Cowpland, and Corel, may have made the classic mistake of realising too early where the market was going, and running before the market could walk. Within months Cowpland was forced to step down from the company he had founded, vowing to devote his time to working with unspecified Linux start-ups. “Personally, I intend to get my hands really dirty with a lot of Linux technology,” he told reporters. “I’m fascinated by the potential that’s now emerging.”

He was replaced as CEO by Corel’s chief technology officer, Derek Burney. “Open-source software isn’t a moneymaker”, said Burney, “Microsoft’s .Net strategy will change computing as we know it.”

By this time, Microsoft, which had an interest in keeping WordPerfect afloat for antitrust reasons, had invested $135 million in Corel. According to Burney: “There is a contract that says we have to put the .Net framework into our major applications within six months of the release of .Net.”

Shortly thereafter, Corel divested itself of its Linux distribution, and discontinued support for WordPerfect and CorelDraw on Linux. It has been assumed by many that this was an unwritten condition of Microsoft’s investment in Corel.

In August 2001, Xandros Incorporated announced that it had secured the rights to Corel’s Linux distribution and a US$10 million investment from Linux Global Partners, a Venture Capital firm. Like Corel, Xandros has its roots in Ottawa, Canada, and retained the majority of Corel’s original Linux software development team. Linux Global Partners also invested heavily in other Linux companies, the best known of which are probably CodeWeavers and Ximian (before it was sold to Novell).

[...]

The biggest problem for Xandros and Linspire has been the “patent covenants” that both companies signed with Microsoft, and the detrimental effect that these agreements have had on ongoing relationships with the Linux user and developer communities.

Jeremy Allison of Samba made the point when he resigned from Novell over the same issue. “Whilst the Microsoft patent agreement is in place there is nothing we can do to fix community relations. And I really mean nothing,” he wrote. “Until the patent provision is revoked, we are pariahs…. Unfortunately the time I am willing to wait for this agreement to be changed… has passed, and so I must say goodbye.”

[...]

To which, Alan Cox, the best known of Linux kernel developers after Linus Torvalds, replied: “That would be because we believe in Free Software and doing the right thing (a practice you appear to have given up on). Maybe it is time the term ‘open source’ also did the decent thing and died out with you.”

Can you see what happened to Corel? Two-way assimilation (Microsoft to open [1, 2], and open to the Microsoft API). Good luck to Novell and .Net Mono. The major news at the moment is about GNOME 3.0 (version number bump from 2.3). Miguel de Icaza once said that GNOME 4.0 would be based on .Net. A recent appointment makes the mind boggle a bit [1, 2]. Mono is already there.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

18 Comments

  1. jeni said,

    July 12, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Gravatar

    I support Linux 100% but I feel that people should make an objective decision for themselves after reading The Truth about Linux.

    Note: troll comment. URL to anti-Linux site omitted.

  2. Marcelino said,

    July 12, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Gravatar

    I have come across too many “user” posting about that joke website “the truth about Linux”. The site is so full of down right wrong statements and lies that it must be Microsoft PR site pretending to be user site….and the posting from someone name “jeni” must really be Microsoft PR person. I read several months ago that Microsoft was hiring “community person” to promote Microsoft software on websites and I guess they found the person(s)….wonder how much the position pays?

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 13, 2008 at 1:35 am

    Gravatar

    Marcelino, I didn’t folllow the link, so thanks for warning me. The ‘jeni” character left several such comments. I’ll strip the URL.

    In any event, see this:

    http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/01/25/a-wake-up-call-to-microsofts-pr-team/

    “Then in 2002, Microsoft’s Web site featured a testimonial called “Confessions of a Mac to PC Convert,” a first-person account by an attractive brunette “freelance writer” about how she had fallen in love with Windows XP.

    “Unfortunately, a Slashdot member discovered that the identical photo was available for rent from the stock-photo libraries of GettyImages.com. Sure enough: Microsoft had hired a PR firm to write the testimonial. The “switcher” did not actually exist.”

  4. Lol said,

    July 13, 2008 at 2:08 am

    Gravatar

    apart from the trolls. what i have seen is companies like redhat have huge amount of money coming in as support revenues are making their software hard to use – so that people are forced to get support contracts from them.

    how badly broken redhat is…and they dont intend to make it any better…they are milking the system in support revenues.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 13, 2008 at 2:17 am

    Gravatar

    @ “Lol”,

    Can you try to support this with evidence? I am genuinely interested. Otherwise, I don’t believe this to be true. Don’t forget that Red Hat has competition, so if there’s a gap, someone will make better GUIs and steal Red Hat’s lunch.

  6. Lol said,

    July 13, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Gravatar

    Feodra :
    Package kit sucks
    Eclipse sucks – it wont install a lot of plugins due to wrong permission (long story why)
    Check beranger for their problems with RHEL

    Redhat is just milking the term Enterprise Linux. FUD. they want people to get used to some paid very of linux which comes with some support from a big name vendor. the so called unpaid linux is bad. you need to have he costly enterprise linux.

    They only release the bare minimum scr rpms since they have to.

    I gave up on fedora or anything redhat.

    I once install Linux for a close friends and was explaining to him about the free software. So he ask me one question. If the software is free then they must be making money in support. So you need to make sure that people come to you for support. And how to do that….

    Commercial linux companies are going to make people pay either this way or that…

  7. Lol said,

    July 13, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Gravatar

    Remember there use to be only one Redhat Linux and they used to give it away for free and only charge for support. I used to get them with magazines cds.

    Now they have closed it, labeled it so called enterprise linux …only provided the bare minimum src rpms to comply with GPL…

  8. Lol said,

    July 13, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Gravatar

    In RMS terms “started putting walls around their software…”

  9. Lol said,

    July 13, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Gravatar

    thats the ugly side of Redhat

    they have started erecting barrier in the name of enterprise linux

  10. Lol said,

    July 13, 2008 at 10:37 am

    Gravatar

    you need to get a *license* copy of RHEL

    you need to get all sort wierd licenses from them for 2/4/8/16 cpus.

    you have to pay them every year to use free software

    if you dont – you are a pirate – you are doing illegal things by using RHEL without paying them their *licensing* money every year

    we are all *freetards*

    check their RHEL pricing page. you get the idea.

    initially it was only support money, now it has turned into license copy of linux and free software.

  11. Lol said,

    July 13, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Gravatar

    RHEL is not a free software. You cant freely share it with others. You are locked in with Redhat and you have to pay them every year to use it. Its a licensed software.

    Milking the GNU…nothing new…they are bit evil on this side :D

  12. jeni said,

    July 13, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Gravatar

    Sorry about that Linux site, I didn’t know people would be so against it. I just thought it might be interesting because it does hold some valid points.

  13. Roy Bixler said,

    July 13, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Gravatar

    @Lol:

    Red Hat is complying with the GPL, so they are a provider of free software. If you don’t like their prices, then you can use CentOS. If you don’t like Red Hat’s packages, then there are many other distributions out there.

  14. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 13, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Gravatar

    ‘Jeni’,

    Now you’re linking to that anti-Linux page from your comment hyperlink. I’ve had to strip it off again.

    This systematic slur is just trolling. We’ve never had to resort to this.

  15. jeni said,

    July 13, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Gravatar

    Why are you so scared of that site? I thought it was okay to put anything in your name URI. But if you have to sensor it, I understand.

  16. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 13, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Gravatar

    I didn’t censor it until a reader complained. I would hardly call the removal of an anti-Linux URL (possibly self-promotional) “censorship”. we never delete comments in this Web site.

  17. jeni said,

    July 13, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Gravatar

    I do understand if you have a problem with a link in the body of a comment, but considering that now you are removing links from name URIs and that all it takes is for someone to disagree with a link to get it removed, it is censorship however you put it. And if anything, you should also consider that you are making the case now for all the points that you might be disagreeing with at the URL. Such as that Linux users are one-sided, controlling, and xenophobic.

  18. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 13, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    Gravatar

    You came to this site only to make off-topic remarks (through a link) against something you dislike. The least you can do is be on topic.

What Else is New


  1. The Whitewashing of the EPO Under António Campinos

    The charm offensive of the 'new and improved' EPO President seems to mostly boil down to a PR campaign, as we expected all along



  2. Links 22/1/2019: Kodachi 5.8, LibreOffice 6.2 Finished

    Links for the day



  3. Software Patents Are a Dying Breed, So Marks & Clerk and Other Legal Monoliths Promote the EPO's Buzzwords (Loopholes)

    Patents that courts would almost certainly reject (and invalidate) are routinely promoted as "AI", "SDV" and similar acronyms and buzzwords, either misleading or intentionally misplaced (nowadays "AI" is often just a synonym for "machine" or "algorithm")



  4. A Fortnight After His Diplomatic Immunity Ends Outgoing EPO Vice-President Željko Topić is in Court in Zagreb, Croatia

    Court minutes for a Željko Topić case heard 5 days ago



  5. Links 20/1/2019: Exo 0.12.4 and Libhandy 0.0.7 Released

    Links for the day



  6. JUVE Creates English Site, Promotes Unified Patent Court (UPC)

    The generally good press outlet has taken a turn for the worse; it looks like it's doing more lobbying than reporting nowadays



  7. The Indian Ministry of Commerce Tries to Bend Patent Law in Favour of Foreign Monopolies

    There's an attempt to tilt patent law against the interests of India; but vigilant few are observing and reporting it, even in English



  8. The EFF Must Return That 'Internship' Money to Google or It Would Disgrace the Patent Reform Movement (by Association)

    Whether real or perceived, the EFF’s alleged bias is at stake now that Google money — not just money from a billionaire (Cuban) — lands on its lap; it can, by extension or association, serve to discredit patent reformers



  9. EPO Defying Patent Restrictions/Limits From the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Countries It Claims to Represent

    The departure from the EPC (and from the rule of law) at the EPO still means that patents are being granted on things that, as per the constitutions, should never have been patentable



  10. The UPC is Dead. But Bristows is Now Fully Engaged in Necrophilia.

    In an effort to float a dead project the deceiving folks from Team UPC pretend that everything is ready to go (commence) because they've managed to find some gowns and robes



  11. Links 19/1/2019: Wikipedia Cofounder Moves to GNU/Linux, Wine 4.0 RC7 Released, Godot 3.1 Beta 2, NomadBSD 1.2 RC1

    Links for the day



  12. Links 18/1/2019: Mesa 18.3.2, Rust 1.32.0

    Links for the day



  13. Links 17/1/2019: ZFS Debate Returns, AWS Pains Free Software

    Links for the day



  14. US Patent Lawyers Will Need to Change Profession or End up Becoming Abundantly Redundant, Unemployed

    In the age of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) and 35 U.S.C. § 101 it’s too risky to sue with dodgy patents; moreover, the Federal Circuit‘s growing adoption of Alice means that no recent cases have given hope to patent maximalists and litigation frequency has fallen again (at double-digit rates)



  15. Links 16/1/2019: Deepin 15.9 Released and Mozilla Fenix

    Links for the day



  16. Brexit Has Failed, But So Has the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Even though all signs indicate that the Unified Patent Court (UPC) will never become a reality spin is to be expected from Team UPC, still looking to profit from more litigation and expanded scope



  17. IBM, Which Will Soon be Buying Red Hat, is Promoting Software Patents in Europe

    Even days apart/within confirmation of IBM's takeover of Red Hat IBM makes it clear that it's very strongly in favour of software patents, not only in the US but also in Europe



  18. Team UPC on Dead UPC: Choosing Gowns for Corpses

    The campaign of lies, long waged by Team UPC in order to manipulate politicians and courts, hasn’t stopped even in 2019 (IAM threw in the towel, but some of Team UPC is still ‘embalming’ UPCA)



  19. Links 15/1/2019: MX Linux MX-18 Continuum Reviewed, Mageia 7 Artwork Voting

    Links for the day



  20. Council of Europe (CoE) Recognises There's No Justice at the EPO

    It’s now the Council of Europe‘s turn to speak out about the grave state of international organisations that exist in Europe but aren’t subjected to European law (which they routinely violate with impunity)



  21. Dominion Harbor -- Armed by Microsoft's Biggest Patent Troll -- Goes After the World's Biggest Android OEMs, Huawei and Samsung

    Dominion Harbor, the patent troll that gets bucketloads of patents from Intellectual Ventures (a patent troll strongly connected to Microsoft and Bill Gates), is still suing using shell entities



  22. Links 14/1/2019: Linux 5.0 RC2 and DXVK 0.95 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Only the Higher Courts -- Not Trump's 'Poster Child' -- Can Bring Back Software Patents

    Software patents are not making a "comeback" as some like to claim; in fact, the latest court cases and notably their outcomes suggest that nothing has changed



  24. “Uniloc is a Lawsuit Factory”

    Apple is a very secretive company, so it is hard to know what goes on with the patent troll Uniloc



  25. European Patent Office a Textbook Example of Lawless, Rogue Institutions

    The tyrannical nature of the EPO is still being demonstrated by the sad fate of Patrick Corcoran; technical judges at the EPO are feeling intimidated by nontechnical politicians and bankers



  26. No, Software Patents Are Not Poised to Make a Comeback Under New US Patent Office Rules

    Poor understanding of the difference between patent courts and patent offices is to blame for widely-spread misinformation from Ars Technica (part of Condé Nast)



  27. IP Kat Has Turned From EPO Critic (to the Point of Being Blocked by the EPO) to EPO Whitewasher That Gags EPO Whistleblowers

    The EPO tried to forcibly gag (block) IP Kat like it blocks Techrights (since 2014); failing that, the EPO got the blog to just act as a whitewashing operation for Team Campinos (more or less the same as Team Battistelli)



  28. Linspire 'Reborn' is Still Working for Microsoft and Facilitating Surveillance on GNU/Linux Users

    GNU/Linux spyware scandals may be back (and it's not about Canonical and Amazon but Linspire and Microsoft); Microsoft is meanwhile exposing innocent kids to pedophiles and it refuses to explain or defend this



  29. Links 12/1/2019: Wine 4.0 RC6, X-Plane 11.30, SuperTuxKart 0.10 Beta, LibreOffice 6.2 RC2

    Links for the day



  30. The EPO's Low Patent Quality Can Kill the European Software Industry and Kill People Too

    The patents granted by the EPO are often invalid as per courts' decisions, which means that fake/illegitimate European Patents saturate the market and discourage development (e.g. of software and life-saving drugs)


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts