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Novell Builds Bridges… for Microsoft to ‘Steal’ Open Source

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 8:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

Reporters whose aim is to elevate the Microsoft ecosystem seem to out there in large numbers. We mentioned this a few days back. The “Microsoft open source” pitch just floods the news like Waggener Edstrom is greasing up wheels again.

What’s wrong with this? Microsoft prefers ‘open source’ like Google Chrome, which is not just Windows-only but is also very hard to port to other platforms because of the way it was built.

Margie Semilof is now promoting the Microsoft agenda by selling Microsoft as ‘part of the community.’

Microsoft plans more open source outreach

In 2009, Microsoft will continue its gradual acceptance of open source software while at the same time it works to dispel old prejudices against non-proprietary software from within the company.

Here’s that term again, “non-proprietary”. It’s an offensive use of words, which can change perception. And further down it says:

Microsoft and Novell forged a deal in November 2006 to offer joint support for the Windows and SUSE Linux operating system with cross maintenance and support from both vendors.

Once again Novell pops up as Microsoft's inviter. As we explained yesterday, Microsoft uses this to elevate Windows and to attach patents (royalties) to anything that’s free.

Speaking of Novell, Mitch Skinner wrote an article a few years ago about Mono and GNOME because not everyone was not particularly happy about it.

The Mono project pushes a lot of buttons in the free software community. Patents, Microsoft, language choice, and platform choice all generate lots of heat individually, and Mono has them all. In spite of all the debate, there are still some issues that remain unresolved. There are undoubtedly some people who have been avoiding Mono just because Red Hat was; now that Fedora has it (while RHEL is still apparently up in the air) it’s tough to know if Mono is safe to use or not.

Nowadays we know things we did not know back then.

Star wars Vader
Picture by SubSonica

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  1. Rick said,

    December 13, 2008 at 11:41 am


    Microsoft will also make a lot of money on support. Remember that open source is only free to use – most open source groups make money in support.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 13, 2008 at 11:45 am


    They have something different in mind (and in planning). It’s about selling proprietary Microsoft stacks. Nothing has changed at Microsoft other than the EEE (divide and conquer strategy), which is still at its early phase.

  3. SubSonica said,

    December 13, 2008 at 1:43 pm


    Yes, but there is something that doesn’t get well with Microsoft strategy: The platform. In the good ol’ times (for them) of the proprietary-only insert-coin-ware they dominated the platform, the base, the operating system. They managed to displace and marginalize evvery other competition (OS2, BeOS, Mac) and let an environment of ISV to sell applications for Windows only, but little by little they started fagocitating that environment: First they extinguished the competing office suites (Lotus SmartSuite, WordPerfect Office), and then every other area of the software industry. Since they had a monopoly on the platform they incorporated features that restricted competitor ability to integrate their products in windows or either they inserted the feature in the OS itselff, thus destroying the competitors market:
    They incoroprated more and more features inside the core of the platform, so Windows became more and more bloated and security vulnerabilities multiplied: web browsers, multimedia players, cd-burners, compression programs… became incorporated into windows, so small ISVs that sold these add-on features for windows had to close shop.
    They keep insisting in this strategy, with things like Silverlight (attacking Adobe Flash in an effort to force a Microsoft-centric world-wide-web), metro (to displace PDF) or security software (which would destroy the market for all the antivirus sellers)
    They tried to do the same with database servers, web servers, development environments, web editors, intranet engines, mail servers, file servers and authentication frameworks (they destroyed Novell Netware’s market through WindowsNT and ActiveDirectory), which were in many cases marketed as standards complying, but in reality were so deeply integrated with the OS platform that no other product could be satisfactorily compatible with them… they did this with different levels of success…
    What is at stake now is the platform itself. They need to obliterate Gnu/Linux, because they don’t want FOSS to be multiplatform, they need programs working just with windows, since without the control of the platform they have nothing.
    That’s why they are desperate to “collaborate” with some parts of the LAMP stack (except the “L” for Linux) in order to inoculate windows-only-friendly features inside Apache or PHP (they don’t seem to like MySQL very much, either since it is a direct competitor to MicrosoftSQLServer) in the hope that people who want to run Web2.0 apps will do with Windows and will not turn their heads towards something better.
    So the important thing to replace is the operating system and throw windows out. Then, the rest of applications that you add on top do not matter too much, because if the platform is Free, there is a good chance that you can have always alternative choices and competition again in the application software stack. In fact you can have proprietary applications if you want running in top of Gnu/Linux (Like Oracle), but the choice about what runs and what does not run on top of your system will be always yours, not Microsoft’s.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 13, 2008 at 2:59 pm


    Microsoft inherits the “M” if it grabs the “P”, which can still sell Windows. Just look at its deals with PHP-based programs and Zend.

  5. Diamond Wakizashi said,

    December 13, 2008 at 4:38 pm


    Novell seems to enjoy being a Microsoft puppet. Do they think it’s fun to betray open source?

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 13, 2008 at 4:51 pm


    SCO was contributing a little bit to Linux before the lawsuits began and I rarely see McBride smiling, so the answer is “no”, i guess.

  7. oiaohm said,

    December 13, 2008 at 7:31 pm


    At this stage its profitable for Novell to go along with Microsoft.

    Remember Novell just highest profit in over 8 years because of the deal.

    It is hard to say they are exactly betraying open source. They betrayed open source before they joined up with MS. Remember the Novel Redhat AIGLX screwup. And the promised well performing evolution for windows and the list just goes on.

    MS watch your back. Novell has over time betrayed every competing partner they have every had as soon as it turned not profitable.

    Don’t forget SCO case is a Novell double cross. SCO and Novell at one point was partners like Microsoft and Novell are now.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 13, 2008 at 7:34 pm


    Highest profit!? Novell is operating at a loss.

  9. Diamond Wakizashi said,

    December 13, 2008 at 8:24 pm


    Novell loses money selling ridiculous “protection” from mythical Microsoft patents. Novell is anti-open source and their SUSE junk is unacceptable.

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