Novell is sponsoring this year’s FOSDEM. It did so last year as well, so the whole event was pimping Novell and Ballnux, which is bad. The Indian protesters have already explained why. Pascal Bleser from the OpenSUSE board is among the organisers, so it could be tricky to change things.
That said, Richard Stallman supported the action in India and F/OSS events where Microsoft’s agenda is pushed he also believes to be better off avoided.
Stuart Cohen, who used to run OSDL, could teach a lesson here [1, 2]. The demise of OSDL is sometimes attributed to his stance on Microsoft/Novell, which he continues to defend even yesterday in the Wintel press.
I was one of the few open-source CEOs to support that deal while at Open Source Development Labs, and I even joined Ballmer and Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian on stage that day. The deal made sense then and still does. It lets Novell provide important software that complements the core, or kernel, of the operating system and enables interoperability between Windows and Linux.
“At Microsoft I learned the truth about ActiveX and COM and I got very interested in it inmediately [sic].” –Miguel de Icaza, Novell
“Our partnership with Microsoft continues to expand.” –Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO
“[The partnership with Microsoft is] going very well insofar as we originally agreed to co-operate on three distinct projects and now we’re working on nine projects and there’s a good list of 19 other projects that we plan to co-operate on.” — Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO
“People that use Red Hat, at least with respect to our intellectual property, in a sense have an obligation to compensate us.” –Steve Ballmer, Microsoft
“We believe every Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance-sheet liability.” –Steve Ballmer, Microsoft
“If the Microsoft corporation, whether it wishes to be part of this ecology in a genuine and sincere sense or not, if it succeeds in getting one distribution to pay royalties for the distribution of free software, other distributions will do so. They will have to. That will then succeed in marching the commercial sector away from the non-commercial sector, and Microsoft then will be able to use its patents to sue to block the development of software in the non-commercial sector without the fear of suing its own customers, which is the force that now constrains them from misbehavior with their patent portfolio.” –Eben Moglen, SFLC
“Pearly Gates and Em-Ballmer… One promises you heaven and the other prepares you for the grave.” –Ray Noorda, Novell
“I once preached peaceful coexistence with Windows. You may laugh at my expense — I deserve it.” –Be’s CEO Jean-Louis Gassée