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09.16.10

Nokia, Zeitgeist, MeeGo/Maemo, and Moonlight/Mono Threat

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 7:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nokia on red

Summary: Nokia’s connections to Microsoft (or Novell) software like Mono are made more pronounced, commitment to Linux is taken aback, and Zeitgeist too is getting the ‘Mono treatment’

MeeGo was to some extent devoured by Mono, owing to work from Novell employees [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. This started just months before apparent Nokia entryism, wherein a Microsoft president was made the company’s CEO [1, 2, 3] (only months after Microsoft and Nokia signed deals). As several journalists pointed out (we cannot provide a complete list), MeeGo was already de-emphasised this week. This is a bad start for the company that has just put a Microsoft man in charge. Here is one new article of interest:

MeeGo a no-show at NokiaWorld, but CTO says it’s “critically important”

One of the oddest things about the keynote presentations during the NokiaWorld conference was the conspicuous absence of commentary about MeeGo, the Linux-based mobile platform that is expected to eventually displace Symbian as the dominant operating system on Nokia’s high-end products. During the major product announcements on the opening day of the conference, the only time that a Nokia executive mentioned MeeGo was to say that there would be no MeeGo-based products announced this week.

There are already rumours or speculations about Nokia striking an alliance with Microsoft against Google and Apple (those suggesting this are Microsoft boosters for the most part) and Nokia’s response to Google and Apple (with Symbian, not Linux) is seen as laughable by some:

Nokia has announced a number of sleek new handsets at its on going Nokia World 2010 in London. These devices are clearly aimed at going after both the iPhone and Android, two platforms that are bent on eating up all of Nokia’s smartphone market share.

MeeGo faces a threat from another new front.

Philip Van Hoof, who expressed strong anti-Stallman sentiments (we mentioned Philip in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]) is speaking to the guy who may put Mono in GNOME Zeitgeist. Earlier today a reader told us: “just bumped into a blog posting from a Zeitgeist developer. Note the comment from Philip van H (iirc the sparkleshare developer) to integrate the Maemo version of Zeigeist “deeply” with tracker. Seems the mono fanboys are trying to push mono everywhere they possibly can: http://seilo.geekyogre.com/2010/…

To quote Philip: “Dude dude dude! This is awesome stuff. Let’s get this on Harmattan and integrated deeply with the latest Tracker 0.9 stuff.”

gnufreex balked at “Integrate deeply” and claimed: “He is working for MS probably.”

He is not.

Whether he develops SparkleShare [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] or not, it doesn’t seem so, but “That is [an] anti-RMS guy,” gnufreex remembered correctly, “He proposed GNOME to spilt from FSF”

That’s correct and there is more to it. We already covered this before. “You can tell a man by his enemies,” wrote Wayne Borean, “RMS has so many enemies, all of who tell lies, that you know he’s got to be a great person.

“I have read all kind of RMS bashing, and none makes sense when you see whole picture.”

“Everybody says he is an extremist,” responded gnufreex, “nobody can prove it… When I say everybody I mean those who criticize him.”

“RMS has so many enemies, all of who tell lies, that you know he’s got to be a great person.”
      –Wayne Borean
Wayne wrote: “Just like they say Roy is an extremist. For that matter I’ve been called an extremist too. As has PJ. You will note that the common factor behind the attacks, is that someone is making money doing something, and is afraid that they might actually have to work. Think Microsoft and Free Software. Or The SCO Group and Groklaw.”

“I was called extremist too… more than once,” argued gnufreex. “Some people think everybody who don’t use Windows is some kind of extremist. It is good to be this kind of extremist then”

“In some cases they should worry. I’ve actually got a plan in place to do some damage to the RIAA member companies in Canada, by taking away their market. But this is legal. Outperforming the current market leader is legal,” added Wayne.

Responding to gnufreex he wrote: “Windows users are like battered spouses who keep going back to the abusive environment after being promised that ‘I really will change this time’”

“That is exactly what I think,” gnufreex concluded.

Going back to Nokia, let us recall Nokia'a Silverlight deal from 2008 and connect that to Moonlight, which was also rejected by Moblin (Intel) [1, 2, 3]. They picked Silverlight instead. What is with all the Mono in MeeGo then? Why is it that few people are willing to point out that Silverlight is dying [1, 2, 3, 4]? GNU/Linux “doesn’t really need it anymore (did it ever?),” I wrote to Glyn Moody earlier today because he mentioned it. “[I]ndeed,” he said, “the point is *Microsoft* needs Linux….”

Then, “to complete the sentence,” I told him, “‘*Microsoft* needs Linux…. to become more of a property of Microsoft’ (APIs, patents, software..)”

“[S]ure,” Moody replied, “I am not advocating it, just analysing it” (he linked to a Microsoft booster whose personal blog said in the headline that “If Microsoft is serious about Silverlight, it needs to do Linux”).

The booster, Tim Anderson, talked about cross-platform at Adobe and then mentioned Silverlight:

Microsoft, on the other hand, will not be able to play in this space unless it delivers Silverlight for Linux, Android, and other open platforms.

Microsoft has a curious history of cross-platform Silverlight announcements. Early on it announced that Moonlight was the official Linux player, though in practice support for Moonlight has been half-hearted. Then when Intel announced the Atom Developer Program (now AppUp) in September 2009, Microsoft stated that it would provide its own build of Silverlight for Linux, or rather, than Intel would build it with Microsoft’s code. Microsoft’s Brian Goldfarb told me that Microsoft and Intel would work together on bringing Silverlight to devices, while Moonlight would be the choice for desktop Linux.

Well, too bad (that’s sarcasm by the way) hardly a word is ever heard from Moonlight anymore and its developer, Novell, is allegedly being sold [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. How might this affect MeeGo’s/Nokia’s relationship with Moonlight/Silverlight and Mono/.NET? Thoughts about this can be a wee troubling.

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