“Put not your trust in journalists.”
We were going to simply ignore Bruce Byfield’s piece on Microsoft and Novell not because of the whole history of this but because it’s a classic example of hiding all the known issue and writing two pages of text which present only one side of this debate. Not only that; he downplays the opposition to this deal.
So Microsoft and Novell are extending their two year old partnership. Is anyone really surprised? Similar, if smaller, deals are announced by other partners on an almost daily basis. The truth is, the deal is not nearly as insightful as the reactions to it in the free and open source (FOSS) community.
Oh, lord! That ‘crazy’ “free and open source (FOSS) community.” How dare ‘the’ community stand in the way of business which resolves around code ‘the’ community produced, usually for no pay?
Groklaw responded to this article last night, saying: “I put this in News Picks, but not because I agree. I think the community doesn’t care if businesses share their values, nor do they expect it. What they *do* expect is that vendors who benefit from FOSS code not actively work against the best interests of the FOSS community. That is the issue, not any of arguments raised in this article, and one the author doesn’t address at all.”
Michael Tiemann is no happy puppy, either. Here is a portion of his remarks, which he posted in Linux Today.
What I find shocking about his article is that on page two he attempts to shift all the questions and concerns about Novell’s dalliance with Microsoft and equate them (with equal skepticism) to the Fedora/Red Hat relationship, which is ridiculous for two reasons.
There are some other noteworthy reactions to this deal. Lisa Hoover said something strange:
Running Novell’s SUSE Linux alongside Windows? Buy a support voucher.
Say what? Patent royalties encouraged in an open source blog? What patents exactly?
“I’ve heard from Novell sales representatives that Microsoft sales executives have started calling the Suse Linux Enterprise Server coupons “royalty payments”"
–Matt Asay, April 21st, 2008
Charles, of OpenOffice.org fame, once again complained about what Microsoft and Novell had done.
I don’t think enterprise customers want to switch to Linux in order to better stay with Microsoft. Some actually refuse such a deal, and there Novell loses pretty often. But what I also see is the buying process of some customers. Your job as a CIO/CFO/CLO (Chief Legal Officer) is to minimize the risks. And sometimes, you’re ready to do very ridiculous things to have no risk happening. So what does the Novell/Microsoft partnership amount to? In some -unfortunate- cases, it can be seen as a helpful insurance contract. Now, if I were the CEO in such a company, I would be having a serious conversation with my team about signing up for an insurance covering this kind of oddities. But fear is a powerful motivator, and many fall in its trap… especially corporate management.
Why is anyone still defending Novell? Is it because Novell and Microsoft gag journalists [1, 2, 3], police coverage, hijack voices, and have it all serve as brainwash touting a treasonous relationship? █
“Our partnership with Microsoft continues to expand.”
–Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO