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Novuel’s de Icaza: The Man Who Gives GNU/Linux to Microsoft

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Interview, KDE, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Red Hat at 8:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I’d like to see Gnome applications written in .NET in version 4.0 – no, version 3.0. But Gnome 4.0 should be based on .NET.”

Miguel de Icaza

If plans and predictions are any indication, Novell is getting out of hand. It virtually takes instructions from Microsoft and obeys Microsoft’s need to have its technologies penetrate the Web, the desktop, people's files (formats), etc.

Fedora wants nothing to do with Moonlight, which is a patent trap from the company that rattles a saber.

In the previous post we showed how Novell uses Microsoft technologies to ‘punish’ other GNU/Linux distributions. Watch what it intends to do with Moonlight. [thanks to reader "bendie" for the pointer]

Miguel de Icaza: “We could refresh the look and feel of the entire desktop with Moonlight”


de Icaza: This is a new group inside of Novell. Basically my team grew from about 30 to 40 people over the last year and a half. Most of the hires went to Moonlight, so now with 15 people working on Moonlight, the biggest part are new hires.


derStandard.at: You talked about re-using Silverlight / Moonlight for the desktop, is there already some concrete work happening, or are those still just ideas for the future?

de Icaza: We are actually doing that right now, we have a couple of projects. Lunar Eclipse is our Silverlight designer for Linux and that is actually built entirely as a desktop Silverlight application. The idea is to have both a desktop and a web version. We also built Moonlight desklets, which is like Apples Dashboard.

I am also trying to convince people that we need to redo certain desktop components using Moonlight because we could get a flashier, nicer user interface with the designers actually prototyping this interface in Inkscape or blender.

No Mono infection, eh? What might Jeff Waugh and other Novell apologists have to say? Novell is, without a doubt, letting Microsoft control programmers, helping its attempts to dominate the Web [1, 2, 3], and putting Microsoft-patented junk everywhere it desires. With Plasma, KDE developers have shown that none of this is necessary. With KOffice, they showed that OOXML can (and should) be ignored.

While Novell is axing engineers, its number of .NET developers keeps increasing, as Novell insinuated in an interview over a year ago. It won’t be long before Novell is all about Microsoft, due to personnel. Just watch what happened to Corel.

Another trouble is that Novell tries to exploit ‘special’ privileges on the desktop and it can then brag about (as it already does in virtualisation) about “peace of mind” in its products. As the interview above shows, and by the way it’s a very interesting read, Novell is also a bridge for Microsoft to befriend and influence FOSS projects to grab them away.

Mono is Novell

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  1. aeshna23 said,

    August 4, 2008 at 9:07 am


    I read boycottnovell religiously, but may not get all the subtle points. I don’t understand calling Icaza “The Man Who Gives GNU/Linux to Microsoft”. Isn’t he just giving Gnome to Microsoft? If I’m understanding correctly, your rhetoric of “giving GNU?/LInus to Microsoft” is too defeatist. It obscures that we have two front for our fight:

    1) Gnome
    2) stopping the Gnome/Mono issues from spreading to other projects

    I think we stand excellent odds on the second front.

    On another topic, I just get Icaza at all. How can he think that implementing Linux as a second-rate Microsoft is a good way to spend his life? Does he utterly lack pride?

  2. Meh said,

    August 4, 2008 at 9:21 am


    ^^ Its lack of integrity and ethics.

    Money and Success above everything.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 4, 2008 at 9:32 am



    Fair point. I wasn’t thinking clearly when typing down that headline. The issue with Moonlight, however, is also one of compatibility with the Web (not just DEs). Novell helps Microsoft give the impression that Silverlight is fine for GNU/Linux (even though there’s no Silverlight for GNU/Linux) and since Web sites, such as the Library of Congress and NBC’s exclusive coverage of the Olympics, use Silverlight, Novell can urge other DE users to fetch Moonlight. They are playing a role in Microsoft’s chicken-and-egg game.

    Regarding “second-rate” (we sometimes call it “second-class citizen”) see these:


  4. Needs Sunlight said,

    August 4, 2008 at 1:16 pm


    @aeshna23: de Icaza’s actions since 2000 make it look like he really is trying to deliver GNU/Linux to MS, or at least cripple it. Look at the distros now encumbered with Mono and how it is getting in the back door:



    He can’t be as stupid or naive as he tries to project sometimes. Nor can h

  5. anon today said,

    August 4, 2008 at 10:26 pm


    He isn’t stupid, and he shouldn’t be naive (he isn’t a child) – although politically it sure looks that way some times. Miguel just loves technology – he just happens to love much of MS technology the most. And bugger anyone else’s thoughts, he’s going to surround himself with yes-men and go where he wants.

    He absolutely gets off on being the centre of attention/oss super-star – it is probably more arrogance and selfishness than stupidity or naivety and it definitely is not malice.

    He’s like ‘the most beloved father of the people’ who believes he’s doing the right thing for his followers, no matter what goes on around him. (i.e. a dictator).

  6. Balzac said,

    August 5, 2008 at 7:30 pm


    Novell is the new SCO and Miguel de Icaza is the new Darl McBride.

    What makes this time different is that the focus has shifted from copyright law to patent law.

    The premeditated attack by Microsoft and the betrayal of the free software community are very familiar.

    Another venerable GNU/Linux distribution has become a torpedo launched against the whole community.

  7. spartan2276 said,

    August 5, 2008 at 7:38 pm


    I got one word, ASSHOLE! That is what he is, regardless of how much he has done in the past it is no excuse to turn on the FOSS movement like that and act as if he’s doing something positive, you know what the sad part is doing anything about it. Not malice, boy I say your the one who’s naive!

  8. libervisco said,

    August 7, 2008 at 6:35 am


    I actually agree and understand that this is not pure malice. I don’t believe in “evil” people, considering that “evil” is largely a subjective value and that it is actually acts which are the source of the “evil” characterization.

    That said, within my own subjectivity, I find myself despising Miguel De Icaza because I do not value his push of the bloat known as Mono into my currently favorite desktop environment, GNOME. The potential patent “threats” are just an icing at the top. I am not a believer in the legal system, but I realize that most people are and therefore if you guys are right about the whole thing about infecting GNU/Linux with patented stuff, they and consequently Freedomware, may indeed be negatively affected.

    So I tend to stay away from Mono and am positively enraged about the idea of putting even more of it into GNOME. Now he’s talking about rewriting the whole darn desktop in this stuff.

    So I gotta say, and as is my free market right, I am beginning to side with the whole BoycottNovell campaign. Good work guys!


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