Summary: Detailed analysis of the Moonlight covenant reveals at least 10 holes that make it unacceptable to Free software desktops and potentially forbidden to ‘non-desktops’
MOONLIGHT is a Microsoft and Novell project. It depends on both companies and it is the fruit of labour from both companies. It is almost as though they are a single company in some particular areas of operation and we have provided substantial proof to defend this claim. Novell is increasingly desperate at this point and with such a great dependence on Microsoft, who would ever want to buy Novell (the company or the products)? Based on the latest financial results, not many. To inherit a company that loses well over $200,000,000 in just one year is no great privilege.
“To inherit a company that loses well over $200,000,000 in just one year is no great privilege.”Novell is so frail at this stage that it would do anything — just anything — to grab some money here and there. A lot of Novell income has come in the form of cash infusions from Microsoft (about a third of a billion).
Over the past couple of days we have shown rather clearly that Novell and Microsoft spread a lot of spin and disinformation about Moonlight and most of the mainstream (syndicated) press swallowed it without checking the facts [1, 2].
Well, fortunately, as the Internet is a vast universe with a diversity of assessments and access to information such as contracts, it is easy to see just what utter poison Moonlight has remained, even after that so-called ‘milestone’ reached by Microsoft and Novell.
Jason, of the Mono-Nono Web site, has analysed the Moonlight covenant and published 10 problems with it over at The Source (which is an excellent Web site by the way). The 10 problems in brief:
Problem #1: Novell-Only, Pt. 1
Problem #2: No Deviations
Problem #3: OS Limitiations
Problem #4: The Killswitch
Problem #5: Overlapping Promises
Problem #6: Novell-Only, Pt. 2
Problem #7: Novell-Only, Pt. 3
Problem #8: Platform Limited
Problem #9: GPL-Hostile
Problem #10: Expiration Date
There are many important points in there. Microsoft is totally in control of Moonlight, which is still a Novell-only piece of software. Users must take a look at this so-called ‘promise’ to convince themselves without speculation or blind trust (maybe they should start calling Mono and Moonlight “promiseware” and beg Microsoft for mercy). The codecs must be retrieved from Novell, so this whole brouhaha is not much more than another round of PR which pretends Microsoft’s Moonlight (yes, the official site says "Microsoft Moonlight") has been given its "blessing". It’s all about combating (X)HTML and Flash.
As a side note, Microsoft’s Novell’s Meeks is a it again, trying to pry OpenOffice.org off Sun/Oracle by providing justifications [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. There is already a discussion about it, but given the timing (just before Christmas), it is not likely to have the intended effect of giving Microsoft’s Novell more control of OpenOffice.org. █