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09.08.08

At Novell, Software Development is Microsoft Cloning (MicroFOSS)

Posted in Asia, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, GPL, Interoperability, Java, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Windows at 6:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft a  bad ride

The issues of copyrights in .NET and of downstreaming from Microsoft were both raised before. There are also technical and legal (patent) issues, which matter a lot because of the holder the technology.

Some of these issues are beginning to be raised not in any other Web site than Miguel’s own.

The rule obviously applies to any new APIs that are built for .NET as they are not immediately available for Mono. But unlike the binary-only APIs, these half-open source code releases pose additional problems for the open source CLI:

* More people are exposed to the source code, preventing them from working on a fully open source implementation of it.
* There is a smaller desire from the community to reimplement the code, as it is relatively easy to just use the existing implementation or ignore the issue for the time being.
* Some folks might not care about the license restriction, and ignore it altogether. A practice I do not endorse.

Miguel de Icaza is not only playing with fire (only Novell is draped with Mono asbestos), but he also helps Microsoft’s long-going goal of muscling Java out of the game. Novell is helping its partner in duopoly (Microsoft) ‘reverse’ a court’s decision by demoting Java [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

Sun Microsystems scored a major legal victory Monday when a federal judge ordered rival Microsoft to include Sun’s Java programming language in its Windows operating system.

U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz issued a preliminary injunction that will force Microsoft to distribute an up-to-date version of Java while Sun pursues its antitrust case against Microsoft. Motz, in a 42-page opinion, said Microsoft “leveraged its PC monopoly to create market conditions in which it is unfairly advantaged.”

For Microsoft it would be too risky to discriminate against Java. Partners like Novell are more suited for the job.

The latest conversation about Mono contains some iffy considerations of Microsoft’s CodePlex, which already has established some 'hooks' with SourceForge. The increasingly Windows/Microsoft-leaning SourceForge is a known issue and this new blog post from Ross Turk suggests that he is a good friend of a prominent Novell employee, Joe Brockmeier.

Our good friend Joe Brockmeier, community manager for openSUSE, has just started blogging for ZDnet.

This may not matter much, but it could — just could — explain why SourceForge is as blind (or careless) as Novell about the threats against GNU/Linux. Larry Augustin has already responded with a “put up or shut up” disclaimer to Microsoft, but he was too polite. There seems to be some indifference inside SourceForge to software which is being abducted to be made dependent on non-Free software and subjected to mistreatment by a convicted monopoly abuser.

This type of indifference is becoming prevalent. Melvin Calimag, for example, has been publishing pro-Microsoft articles and something about GNU/Linux failures after that free trip to Redmond [1, 2] (Microsoft invited him). Maybe it’s just a coincidence (the statistic sample is admittedly too small), but either way, he has just posted another Microsoft-serving piece that portrays Microsoft as an open source player.

Microsoft, once an ardent proponent of proprietary software, is no longer fighting the growing army of open source developers worldwide and in the Philippines. In fact, it will soon open in the country its first interoperability lab in Asia.

[...]

Contrary to popular notion, Microsoft claimed it had collaborated before with companies identified with the open source community. The company said it started its Linux Interoperability Lab in 2004 and opened the Open Source Software Lab in 2006.

It’s only the illusion that Microsoft no longer fights what it only recently called a greater threat than Google.

The real intent is soon expressed:

“These four principles include: one, ensuring open connections to our high-volume products such as Vista, Office, and Windows Server; second, promoting data portability; third, enhancing support for industry standards; and lastly, foster more open engagement with our customers and the community.”

So, it’s all about “open source” becoming dependent on the proprietary software stack from Microsoft.

Also in the news, following the latest cash infusion, a marriage of patents between Novell and Microsoft is briefly mentioned here.

More recently Hauser played a strategic role on Microsoft’s Law and Corporate Affairs, Intellectual Property Leadership team where she worked on Microsoft’s relationship with Novell and its efforts on interoperability. She was instrumental role in developing Microsoft’s first Interop Executive Customer Council with 45 worldwide CIO’s across commercial and public sector customers, added Scott.

Susan Hauser has already used the dealings in China as an opportunity to spread GNU/Linux FUD. She even stole the voices of Novell customers and misrepresented them. The team which is called “Intellectual Property Leadership” pretty much sums up what the Novell deal involved, but then again, even Novell has begun admitting that it’s about patents now [1, 2].

“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

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A Single Comment

  1. Ross Turk said,

    September 8, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Gravatar

    I need to correct one of your more minor points:

    I become friends with Joe Brockmeier because he used to work for Linux.com, one of our sister sites. We go back pretty far, way before Novell.

    Your post about SourceForge and Codeplex weaving themselves together is similarly misleading. We asked a variety of open source repositories to provide a dump of their project data to make it easier for people to nominate their projects for the Community Choice Awards. Codeplex responded, and so did Google Code.

    I get the point you’re trying to make with your blog, but if you want to be accurate on some of your finer details, you should drop me a line first. :)

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