03.20.10

Microsoft MVP de Icaza: Microsoft “Shot the .NET Ecosystem in the Foot” Because of Patent Threats

Posted in Java, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OIN, Oracle, Patents, Windows at 4:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“In the last several days Microsoft has shown that despite claims of acquiring a newly found respect for open principles and technology, developers should be cautious in believing promises made by this “new” Microsoft. [...] There is one other fact clear from this case. Microsoft does not appear to be a leopard capable of changing its spots. Maybe it’s time developers go on a diet from Microsoft and get the FAT out of their products.”

Jim Zemlin, Linux Foundation Executive Director

Summary: Despite awakening and realisation of the obvious, Novell carries on promoting and spreading .NET, knowing damn well the consequences for others

Microsoft’s MVP Miguel de Icaza occasionally throws a fit at the company’s hardball patent policy, even when it comes to Mono or Moonlight. He is not giving up on Mono, but it failed to gain a foothold and David Worthington, who is close to Microsoft and Novell [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], writes the following article:

Among the critics is Novell vice president Miguel de Icaza, who said .NET’s focus on Windows has come at the expense of opportunities for Microsoft, and its desire to guard its intellectual property is an impediment on the platform.

“Microsoft has shot the .NET ecosystem in the foot because of the constant threat of patent infringement that they have cast on the ecosystem,” he said. “Unlike the Java world that is blossoming with dozens of vibrant Java Virtual Machine implementations, the .NET world has suffered by this meme spread by [Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer] that they would come after people that do not license patents from them.”

Java — unlike .NET — is actually Free software. Java patents are owned by Oracle, which is in OIN. What justification can Novell give for its support of .NET? The fact that Microsoft is paying Novell? Selling one’s soul is not an action worth commending.

Novell is still creating even more Mono applications and Pinta is one of the latest examples (previously covered in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]). There are already quite a few image editors for GNU/Linux, so aren’t the priorities set improperly here? From The H:

Novell open source programmer Jonathan Pobst has announced the release of version 0.2 of his simple Pinta painting application for Gtk modelled after Paint.NET. The first Pinta update includes a number of updates and new features over the initial 0.2 release from last month.

Going back to Worthington, some days ago he seemingly broke the news about another .NET-boosting project from Novell (one that’s still being covered [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]). In a newer article about .NET, here is how he describes Novell’s role:

Novell, a Microsoft partner, is creating a Visual Studio add-on to target Android, along with another tool for translating .NET applications to native code to execute on the iPhone.

Novell is creating plug-ins for Visual Studio. Who is Novell kidding? In this case, it’s helping Windows and not any other desktop platform/IDE (there are other examples where Novell elevates Windows and Visual Studio [1, 2, 3]). It helps promote proprietary software, yet one of our readers from India says that “FSMK & CPIM didn’t study anything from the FOSS community Response against Novell in Kochi Conference. Novell is in the sponsors list of National Free Software Conference.”

Will they promote .NET/Mono this time around? Either way, having what Worthington called “a Microsoft partner” at the Free Software Conference (not “Open Source”) is not a healthy recipe.

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6 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    March 20, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Gravatar

    I’m not sure which is more of the deal-breaker for Mono, the patents or the quality. Microsoft products are not known for quality or price, at least not in a favorable way. Mono’s (and .Not) are not quite even half-baked compared to Java, the technology that Microsoft is trying to copy.

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    What’s needed, is for project leaders to grow a pair and tell Mono boosters to take a hike. Throw them out, if necessary, if they won’t take no for an answer. Gimp needs to be put back in Ubuntu, same with a proper Image viewer, note pad, music player, and so on.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    What’s wrong with Ubuntu’s media player?

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    Banshee is poor quality in the UI and in performance and, scratch the surface for the cause, it is Mono.

    Ubuntu has some very good music players, like Amarok and Rhythm Box and XMMS.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Ubuntu 10.04 does not come with Banshee (thankfully). I also spoke to Jono Bacon about 10.10. There’s no plan for imminent change.

  2. NotZed said,

    March 20, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Gravatar

    “Unlike the Java world that is blossoming with dozens of vibrant Java Virtual Machine implementations, the .NET world has suffered by this meme spread by [Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer] that they would come after people that do not license patents from them.”

    Hmm, so it doesn’t have anything to do with decades of documented anti-competitive market abuse, .NET just being basically the same thing only tied to a specific platform (a few details aside), and simply it’s sheer immaturity and still being a rapidly moving target? Not to mention that it simply hasn’t been around long as long? Maybe people just don’t trust MS – they certainly have many reasons not to, starting at the nut-job at the top and going right back to their beginning.

    At some point naivety loses it’s weight as an excuse for being blind to all this. It might have some quite neat ideas, but it’s still basically just ‘ms java’, and perhaps everyone is sick of putting up with their shit at last.

    It’s not like that happened to Java overnight or by itself either, it took a lot of concerted effort from many large players: sun of course, but also ibm, oracle and so forth.

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