IN THREE previous posts, we have covered the events which took place in India. In chronological order:
- Friendly ‘Boycott Novell’ Supportes Robbed of Voice
- Even Microsoft Chooses Red Hat Over Novell’s SUSE
- Novell Removed from List of National Free Software Conference Sponsors?
There are many accusations of misinformation out there, so critics might wish to use as reference the words of Anivar Aravind, who was there on the scene and was also removed by the organisers, by force (an unprecedented act, according to Richard Stallman). Anivar should know the story best and he delves into the finer details.
While mailing lists becomes a play ground to execute Goebbelsian tactics, I feel i need to scribble the reason & step by step incidents in our campaign in National Conference on Free Software.
Novell is the Only GNU/linux company name mentioned in the Conference. since it is organised with the silent support of CPIM (You can understand it simply by going through schedule) a lot of people from Employee Unions, Students Unions, teachers Unions etc were participated in the event. Our intention is to protect these people being misguided by Novell. Novell was mainly promoting their fork of OpenOffice 3.0 (after in which they implemented notorious OOXML and forked after OO3 moved to LGPLv3)& SUSE in their stall. Most of the participants in the Conference were newbies and Novell is the only GNU/Linux distro widely promoted in the exhibition. Our protest is not targeted at Organizers or Novell. It was just a way to spread awareness on Novell’s evil trends through the posters to protect new users being misguided.
Here is the information which was distributed
[PDF] by the activists. It encourages no hate; it merely informs.
It’s funny enough that Novell, a proprietary software company at heart, is attending and striving to steal the thunder in Free software conferences. It’s not an isolated example because Novell does the same thing in Europe where the walls get ‘draped’ in Novell and SUSE logos. They plaster their identity and footprint where they do not belong.
InfoWorld (IDG) has just published an article with me and therein I explained why Microsoft’s similar behaviour (infiltrating FOSS events) is mostly a PR charade. It’s also funny to see Microsoft attending Ajax conferences. By refusing to support SVG Microsoft has held back Web development for ages. It is an enemy of advanced Web technologies because it threatens its desktop applications and makes Windows more obsolete.
Here is another audacious article that mentions Novell, Microsoft, and intellectual property.
In intellectual property, all the noise about the illegitimacy of open source, how Microsoft found its code in Linux and other open source projects, has withered. Microsoft partnered with Novell, and skilled programmers within Microsoft’s own ranks pointed out how much open source code is developed on Windows, and how much open source code interoperates with Windows. And everyone saw how, if Windows Server 2008 is to have a place in the data center, it will have to work with open source code. Proprietary software companies from Citrix to IBM to Sun proved their faith in community-built code by buying open source vendors.
Boycott Novell has gained a lot more validation over the past week with links from major press outlets like InformationWeek, ComputerWorld, ZDNet, and Slashdot. Proponents of the information we present here might therefore find it easier to support and defend. █
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A short while ago it turned out that there is already a company called “Microvell” (maybe even more than one), so we cannot use that word anymore. It’s not as innocent as it initially seemed.
For what it’s worth, we are probably not the origin of this name and we are not the only ones using it to describe the grouping of Microsoft and Novell. But as the conversation below suggests, we should stop using the word, no matter how adequate it seems every now and then. We wrote about trademarks almost exactly one year ago.
Thoughts are always welcome. We discuss this in IRC at this very moment. █
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Sweeping one’s discomfort under the rug is only a temporarily solution
SOME short while ago we wrote about the problem with Mono. We ought to have elaborated.
Ubuntu Openness Disputed
It is natural for a Free software distribution to accommodate open discussions, but Mono 'guards' in Ubuntu Forums are trying to defend Mono because they have vested interests. They do Mono stuff for a living, so it’s in their interests to have it spread inside Ubuntu, regardless of the consequences. Here is a discussion about Mono being closed.
Thread closed, as it’s been hijacked by a running spat from another closed thread.
Mark Shuttleworth’s stance on Mono, which already fills Ubuntu, is not helpful and one possible solution was proposed just a few hours ago.
When Java was not Open Source, it was not installed by default. Wine is not installed by default. Mono is installed by default, if we want it or not. This needs to change. If you want to build or run mono applications, then you can install it – it is your computer and we will not stop you.
Keeping Mono Away from the Fedora
Looking back at Fedora’s decision-making, here is what one finds.
The reasons Red Hat decided to go ahead [with Mono] have since been revealed. It’s because of the Open Invention Network. http://gregdek.livejournal.com/4008.html
We also wrote about this back in June. Additionally, the OIN is only protecting
the Linux kernel GNU/Linux and the approach of the OIN is not terribly helpful.
Keeping Mono from the Moko
As we revealed the other day, OpenMoko had come under patent attack by a ‘front’ of Philips. This ought to teach people a lesson about the use Ogg, but also troubling is this new observation that OpenMoko is becoming OpenMONO because of Mono enthusiasts.
OpenMoko is a open-source development platform for cell phones. OpenMoko sells the hardware and offers a Linux-based operating system to run on top of it. OpenMoko is known amongst .NET developers as being the first phone to support the Mono runtime.
There are some more details about the patent dispute in Heise.
The Openmoko project temporarily removed all firmware versions from its download section last weekend and replaced them with different ones this morning. Openmoko is developing a mobile Linux distribution and sells the open Freerunner Linux smartphone. The reason for removal of firmware appears to be a dispute with patent holding company Sisvel.
It’s worth remembering that there were attempts to contaminate Android with Mono (courtesy of Mr. de Icaza himself) and a Windows ISV tried to contaminate LiMo as well, using Mono. █
“There is a substantive effort in open source to bring such an implementation of .Net to market, known as Mono and being driven by Novell, and one of the attributes of the agreement we made with Novell is that the intellectual property associated with that is available to Novell customers.”
–Bob Muglia, Microsoft
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Adding slur to cronyism
WE try hard to stay away from Brown and not feed him, but it’s getting difficult because he provokes in his blog. Those you believe that OOXML has been (and continues to be) a Microsoft fiasco are being ridiculed by no-one else than the convenor the OOXML BRM, who is being exceptionally rude.
Alex Brown, in ODF – OASIS and JTC 1 Get It Together, refers to those like me, who have been vocal in our disapproval of ISO’s handling of office-document standards, as the “tinfoil brigade” with a “crazed oppositional narrative”. He even provides an illustration of the use of a shiny silver fashion statement. Is this fair?
I’m Angry · I can’t help it. I’m actually quite idealistic and believe that collaborative work which transcends the boundaries of nations and enterprises has the potential to benefit individuals, governments, and businesses everywhere. I cannot give an honest and complete account of my feelings about the ECMA/JTC1 process without resorting to coarse language and direct accusations against certain parties whom I believe to have acted at best unethically. ¶
For the purposes of this little essay I will for obvious reasons restrain myself. I will, however, offer two assertions:
* In the context of the process that led to the existence of ISO/IEC International Standard 29500, it is reasonable to be angry.
* It is not reasonable to draw conclusions about the rights and wrongs of a complex and important issue, in which billions of dollars are at stake, based on who’s being polite.
Alex Brown [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23] and the other deniers of the OOXML corruptions must not be left to get away and rewrite history.
Simon Phipps responded to this too by saying: “I agree with Tim; Alex Brown’s analysis is cavalier in the omission of the rest of the industry context around the gaming of JTC1, to the point one has to ask oneself why.”
When people fail to distance themselves from corruption they should not cry foul. Brown invited the trouble he has been getting. █
Also in the news:
“The ISO process, brutal and corrupt as it was, has been covered to death by everyone.”
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“No less than Bill Gates himself said in a recent Fortune article that Microsoft competes better against Linux in China when there’s piracy than when there isn’t.
“So, Microsoft actively looks the other way as people pirate its software. It builds its market share that way, and lets people get used to the idea of having Windows at a certain price.”
“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”
–Bill Gates (about the Chinese people)
THIS is a subject that was covered here many times before [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Previous posts about the issue provide suitable background to the arrogance of Microsoft, which labels “pirates” the very same people who make its software ubiquitous and therefore ‘successful’.
Microsoft really needs money now. Will there be more Black Screens of Death in China as a result of financial stress?
About an hour ago, over in the IRC channel, one of our readers said: “Incidentally, real piracy is becoming a major international issue around Somalia – it’s about time the music and film industries stopped trying to characterise people who make an illicit copy of a CD as akin in some way to murderous kidnappers making ransom demands for £millions.”
Moving on to the news, Steve Ballmer says that China is not important. Adding insult to injury:
THE global head of Microsoft has dismissed China’s importance to its business due to the Government’s failure to curb rampant software piracy.
Is this the same “piracy” that Mr. Gates spoke about a year ago?
“It’s easier for our software to compete with Linux when there’s piracy than when there’s not.”
So, in essence, Microsoft is attempting to dramatise the situation and disguise deliberate attempts to make its software widespread through so-called ‘piracy’. As vain as it may seem, Microsoft even bemoans loss of revenue and warns that the local economy is in danger because ‘poor’ Microsoft is
fighting GNU/Linux suffering from ‘pirates’. They try to earn sympathy with these crocodile tears.
It’s not just China though. Oh, no. It’s the same in the majority of the countries around the world, but China is an extreme case because of the size of its population (it’s also the most Net-connected society). Microsoft has just insulted people of Oman in very much the same way.
Piracy remains a concern in Oman, Microsoft says
“The government has even closed down shops for selling pirated software here in Mucsat,” he said.
“The losses to the industry and governments are in the billions compared to the small savings that people make by taking up pirated software.”
These are lies and spin. Microsoft used to rely on these shops (and continues to rely on them to an extent). Illegal sharing of Microsoft’s non-Free software has been beneficial to the company, but that’s not the story it wishes to tell the world. Instead, Microsoft paints itself a victim.
Microsoft Prefers McCain, Not Osama
Microsoft has many reasons to favour McCain, for reasons that were mentioned and showed here before [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17]. The following is surely accidental, but why is this still not fully resolved several months after being reported?
Dear Microsoft: Barack Obama is not Osama or a barrack
While I write this, the spell-check function in Microsoft Word will indignantly underline President-elect Barack Obama’s name until I concede to referring to him as a building for lodging soldiers.
Well, I’m not giving in that easily.
Both the words “Barack” and “Obama” appear above squiggly red lines in Word documents. The question is: … really?
Microsoft's arrogance could cost it dearly when people catch up and are finally told the truth. █
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Spotted in Alan’s Web site just a moment ago:
Mono includes: (1) the ISO standard parts, including C# and CLI, and also (2) the Microsoft proprietary parts, including Windows.Forms and ASP.NET and ADO.NET.
Mono is written by Novell. Novell has a patent deal with Microsoft, so that Novell has a license from Microsoft to write these non-free parts of Mono, and to include them in SLED.
They are indeed open source, but they are not licensed by Microsoft to run anywhere but in SLED. Not in OpenSuSe, not in Ubuntu, not in Fedora, not in Debian, not in Slackware, not in Gentoo, not anywhere but SLED.
When you install Mono 2 on any Linux system, you are installing software which includes Microso[f]t proprietary technologies without having a license from Microsoft to do so (unless you run SLED).
What is worse, if you use Mono to port to Linux programs originally written in .NET for Windows, then any such ported programs on your Linux system will include and rely upon the unlicensed Mono libraries on your system.
What exactly is Mono all about? I think this page sums it up nicely:
Mono is all about getting existing Windows applications, and their Microsoft-proprietary dependencies, installed on to your Linux system, so that you will in the near future require a paid-for license from Microsoft to run programs on your Linux system.
Note: the argument built in this post is structured using references only from the Mono project itself. It does not rely on any potentially biased words from sources such as the Boycott Novell website … only the Mono project’s own words are quoted.
This is a concise and elegant explanation. People must learn from history. █
“…Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system. But Microsoft did not want to be seen as attacking IBM or Linux.”
–Larry Goldfarb, investor in SCO
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Without much in terms of attribution or upfront disclosures, the British Computer Society has published “Open-source policy ‘required’.”
‘Companies must have a policy for procuring OSS, deciding which applications will be supported by OSS, and identifying the intellectual property risk or supportability risk associated with using OSS,’ she said.
“Intellectual property… risk…”
Yes, that’s the sort of reassuring things people love to hear, eh?
It all comes from Gartner, which spins the success of Free software as some sort of danger or a failure.
We won’t comment on the Gartner Group’s total lack of credibility, as we have done so before. Chalk up another one to the ‘portfolio’ of Gartner :
Boycott Novell is not the only Web site that noticed the latest FUD from Gartner. ComputerWorld UK has a short new article about it.
So let’s just unpick this statement a little. Unfortunately, I can’t find any details on the Gartner site, so I’ll have to make general statements about free software and licensing.
First, if companies are simply using open source software as-is, there are no “potential liabilities”: none, zero, zilch. I’d be willing to bet that this covers 90% of open source in companies today. You can even make changes to the code and not make them public – provide you don’t circulate them outside your company. It’s only when you start combining open source code with other code that licensing issues might arise, but even here, the spectre of “huge potential liabilities” is nonsense.
Gartner’s negative spin on the inarguable facts of a massive and increasing open source uptake in companies is FUD, pure and simple. Ignore it.
As Glyn says, ignore Gartner. Ignore them at every opportunity and encourage others to do the same. Sean writes:
85 percent using open source – but still frustrated?
The obvious question – is if Open Source Software (OSS) is so frustrating in Gartner’s view – than how do they explain that 85 percent now and 100 percent within a year are using open source?
Apparently it’s not so frustrating that people won’t use it.
Selling out is profitable and the only way to stop this is to never feed those who do. Who is paying the Partner Groups’s bills this time around? Money does not fall down from the sky to help professionals conduct so-called ‘studies’, as seen demonstarted the other day and noted by ComputerWorld (IDG):
This time around it’s a study by ClickStream Technologies, which found Microsoft Office, to be far more popular than OpenOffice.org, which in turn was far more popular than Google Docs. What Microsoft doesn’t mention is that ClickStream is headed by Microsoft’s former head of Microsoft Office research. Very independent, eh?
Boycott Novell did some digging about this latest Microsoft study, and found, just underneath the dirt’s surface that ClickStream’s senior research analyst is also a former Microsoft Corporation researcher and strategist for the Office product. If you buy that this study will say anything except what Microsoft wants it to say, I have some early-release, Detroit Lion SuperBowl tickets you might also want to buy. Cheap!
Always follow the interests. Based on experience, they typically move in the same direction as the money. █
“Analysts sell out – that’s their business model…”
–Microsoft, internal document
Addendum: See “Gartner Report Exaggerates Open Source IP Concerns”
In a report on enterprise open source usage released this week, Gartner research director Laurie Wurster stated in rather strong language that companies could face a big intellectual property issue because they are using the software without understanding the IP implications of the licensing language. But is she exaggerating the danger and is there less complexity with open source licenses than with proprietary ones?
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“I’m a huge fan of guerrilla marketing.”
–Joe Wilcox, Microsoft fan & Microsoft Watch editor
WE wrote about Microsoft's guerrilla marketing a couple of weeks ago, VMware being a recent example of a victim [1, 2]. To Microsoft, guerrilla marketing is not an exception; it’s the company's policy, which also led to coordinated attacks on PlayStation 3 launch parties across the world. This merciless and insensitive attitude made some children cry at the time. They were fans of the PlayStation and they were unaware of Microsoft’s typical business ethics.
According to The Register, Microsoft is doing it again, trying to rain on a competitor’s parade. The timing is no coincidence, as we explained last week.
Microsoft crashes Adobe RIA party
Adobe MAX Microsoft has tried to cast a shadow over RIA and cloud news at Adobe Systems’ annual MAX conference by talking up Silverlight’s roadmap.
It ought to be added that Novell has begun resorting to Microsoft’s tactics too [1, 2]. █
“Think about the children”
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