I consider enthusiatically supporting a company that calls your underlying community a “cancer” to be a “sell out”. I consider promoting Microsoft technologies to the direct detriment of competing Free and Open Source technologies to be a “sell out”. The “clear conditions” and “few specific areas” are irrelevant. The question of “selling out” is very much a subjective one, because it requires one to make a value judgment based on actions. And that’s about as far as you can go with the arguement on whether Novell “sold out” or not – do you think they did? (Hint: the answer is yes.)
And “fierce competitors”? Please. Microsoft has two major development platforms it wants deployed right now: .NET and Silverlight. Novell is doing everything it can to spread both of them wherever it can.
Well, I don’t know what you mean by “pushing”. I do know that:
* Miguel de Icaza thinks OOXML is “superb”, superior to ODF, called criticism of it “FUD”, considers ISO approval was a good thing, and so on   .
* Novell announced that the “Novell edition of the OpenOffice.org office productivity suite” would support OOXML very early in the game 
These could be construed as “pushing” OOXML. Be careful now: the argument that OOXML support – now, after approval – is needed is not relevant. The problem is that when the discussion was started, and OOXML was proposed specificially to counter ODF, Novell stood firmly behing Microsoft.
The reason people think Novell is “pushing” OOXML, even if technically Novell recomments ODF, is because most people judge by actions, not words. Novell has taken a lot of action to support (”push”) OOXML. ODF? Not so much.
It also provides me an opening to touch on my favorite pet peeve: just because someone disagrees with you, does not mean the message is “FUD“. If someone is laying out a reasoned argument – it is not “FUD”, no matter how much you might disagree with the premise or conclusion. It doesn’t mean you agree with someone’s argument, but you don’t just get to dismiss legitimite criticism by calling it “FUD”. Let me help you out:
This is FUD: “Linux infringes on 235 Microsoft patents.” “Linux is a cancer.“
This is not
Here we have the FAQ that caused me to write this entry; I won’t use openSUSE precisely because it is “sponsored” by Novell – and so, according to the FAQ – I am being clearly ignorant and being absurd.
First, the easy pickings: Tomboy/F-Spot/Banshee/Beagle, etc. – no I don’t use any of those because I won’t have mono on any of my machines. I dare say most people that disagree with the Novell/Microsoft deal don’t use mono. (And here’s the thing: I don’t care if someone wants to use them – I just don’t think they should be included by default in some many distros. But the key to gaining mindshare is to have your products on the desktop, and that’s why Novell pushes so hard to get these things included in the default GNOME and so on.)
As I mentioned in another blog post Novell’s relationship with openSUSE is not one of “mere sponsorship”:
* openSUSE is a trademark of Novell
* openSUSE EULA is was a “Novell Software License Agreement” [I see this has changed for the new release.]
* openSUSE is promoted as “openSUSE from Novell” on Novell’s own website
* The openSUSE site is copyrighted by Novell.
* The openSUSE “Community Board” is lead by a Novell-appointed chairman, and must contain a majority of Novell employees.
In a way, this speaks to the heart of the matter: Microsoft has been hell-bent on destroying Open Source for a long, long time – and still Novell gets into bed with them. Limiting the discussion to patent issues attempts to obscure the fact that Novell is enthusiastically pushing Microsoft technology into the Open Source ecosystem as hard as it can. Patents may be one part of the issue, and an important one – but the larger issue to me is embracing an anti-Free Software company like Microsoft.
The comment from Ted Haeger is worth reading too.