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04.21.10

Xandros Shows Death by Microsoft

Posted in Corel, Deals, Debian, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Scalix, Xandros at 4:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Agent of death

Summary: “It should be widely known by now. No matter why, when and where, join MS and you will be dead.” –Abe

Richard Hillesley has just published “The lost world of the Xandros desktop,” which is an article that looks at Xandros’ past and present. To quote some bits from this long article:

The latest release of the Xandros Linux desktop edition was in June 2006, which is several lifetimes in the history of Linux. Is this the end of the line for the Xandros desktop?

[...]

The ‘patent covenant’ with Microsoft has had a detrimental effect on Xandros’ ongoing relationships with the Linux user and developer communities. Ostensibly the purpose of the deal with Microsoft was to license protocols to enable Xandros’ BridgeWays and Scalix products to work with Microsoft networks.

Actually, Scalix came later. Xandros bought Scalix in July 2007 (July 9th to be precise), whereas Xandros sold out to Microsoft on June 4th.

We have found some new comments on the subject, including one in Tux Machines:

Xandros propaganda for smartphones ? giving up on netbooks ?

Netbooks were born for children. But had a future for enterprise applications because of HDTV(broadcasting news or training film) 16:9 video format(DVD player format). So, Asus sold more XP(sp3). But for individuals, dual boot with Ubuntu maybe a choice, until Firefox shot itself in the foot(not flash9 compatible).

In the comment titled “Join MS”, Abe from Linux Today writes:

Those who forget history are bound to repeat it.

It should be widely known by now. No matter why, when and where, join MS and you will be dead.

Those who ignore the warnings can’t blame but themselves.

We have a detailed list of companies that lost their GNU/Linux focus after signing Microsoft deals. Xandros of one of those companies. It’s "Microsoft's touch of death".

“I once preached peaceful coexistence with Windows. You may laugh at my expense — I deserve it.”

Be’s CEO Jean-Louis Gassée

02.27.10

Novell News Summary – Part III: Pulse, Brainshare 2010, Proprietary Products, SCO, Virtualisation, and Security

Posted in Corel, Courtroom, Mail, NetWare, Novell, SCO, Security, Virtualisation, VMware, Xen at 8:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ruby mountains

Summary: As indicated in the title, this is a collection of many news items spanning many subjects

NOVELL’S biggest news this time around is its financial report, but we will cover that separately. Here are some news clippings about Novell’s proprietary (or otherwise non-SUSE) side of business.

Read the rest of this entry »

11.28.09

Novell News Summary – Part III: WordPerfect Changes Hands Again, SCO Case Updates, and More

Posted in Corel, Finance, Identity Management, Mail, Novell, Office Suites, SCO at 8:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Grand Canyon

Summary: Novell’s legal, proprietary, and increasingly SaaS-based business as defined by the past week’s news

IT may seem repetitive, but this week too saw no major announcements from Novell.

Read the rest of this entry »

11.23.09

Do Patent Deals with Microsoft Knock GNU/Linux Vendors Out of GNU/Linux Business?

Posted in Corel, GNU/Linux, Mandriva, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Red Hat, Turbolinux, Ubuntu, Xandros at 11:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sure seems like it

Xandros patent protection sale

Summary: How four vendors of desktop GNU/Linux lost their direction after joining Microsoft’s software patents racket

LINSPIRE/LINDOWS is no more, as things went downhill after it had signed a patent deal with Microsoft. It sold out, so GNU/Linux users did not give it a second chance. As for Novell, it seems heavily focused these days on Silverlight and .NET. Moonlight and Mono are no longer even targeting GNU/Linux; Novell releases Mono products for platforms like the Apple iPhone, Mac OS X, even Windows [1, 2], with similar impact on the Nintendo Wii. Novell has essentially been transformed by the Microsoft deal just like Corel was.

“Perhaps there has not been high demand for their $50 Microsoft “patent protection” product for Debian derivatives.”Back in June, Xandros publicly revealed that is was not a GNU/Linux company anymore. “We are kind of getting away from being a Linux company” is the exact quote. Perhaps there has not been high demand for their $50 Microsoft "patent protection" product for Debian derivatives.

Well, based on this new press release (also here), Xandros walks further away from GNU/Linux, which is good news given what the company has done to GNU/Linux (and for Microsoft).

Xandros today announced the launch of Apps2Market, the first true cross-platform white label application store and m-commerce service. Apps2Market creates custom app store environments that are capable of reaching users with any digital content and applications in a growing, fragmented internet-connected device market.

Here is a short article about this.

Calling it the “first rue cross-platform white label applications store,” Apps2Market is aimed at creating an app store for any platform out there, so long as it’s Intel or ARM-based web-devices. The idea is that software vendors, automotive vendors, or any other manufacturers can create a marketplace custom-tailored for applications specific to the device they’re selling.

The last time we wrote about Turbolinux we showed that it too had lost its direction after the patent deal with Microsoft. Deals with Microsoft are a death knell. By contrast, companies like Mandriva, Red Hat and Canonical stayed focused. The conclusion is obvious.

11.13.09

Novell — Like Corel — Becomes a Microsoft Vassal, Promotes XAML-based Desktop

Posted in Corel, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, NetWare, Novell, Patents at 2:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“We could refresh the look and feel of the entire desktop with Moonlight”

Miguel de Icaza

Summary: Novell’s (and Mirosoft CodePlex’) Miguel de Icaza issues a call to make more software with Microsoft XAML

AT the beginning of 2008 we wrote this summary of how Microsoft had turned Corel from a GNU/Linux proponent into a .NET proponent. Microsoft neutered the competition using money. In other words, a small ‘bribe’ was once again used to dismantle competition. There is a lot to be learned here also from Apple [1, 2, 3].

In a new article from SJVN, the history of GNU/Linux on the desktop is outlined with the following portion about Corel: “Alas, after Corel experienced some brief success, its efforts came to little. Facing strong opposition from Microsoft and financially ravished by an ill-timed move into the then-hot application service provider (ASP) market and inadequate profits from its application lines, Corel quickly found itself in hot water. By the end of 2000, Corel had changed management and partnered up with Microsoft.

“On several occasions, Novell had changed management (Schmidt, Messman, etc.) and eventually partnered up with Microsoft.”This sounds just like Novell, doesn’t it? To rephrase the above, Novell experienced some success with Netware, but its efforts came to little in recent years. Facing strong opposition from Microsoft and financially ravished by an ill-timed move into the then-hot *NIX/groupware market and inadequate profits from its application lines, Novell quickly found itself in hot water. On several occasions, Novell had changed management (Schmidt, Messman, etc.) and eventually partnered up with Microsoft.

Then, in both cases, came .NET promotion. Novell’s de Icaza, who is currently a board member at Microsoft's CodePlex Foundation, is now rallying his troops at Novell/Ximian/outside to create applications with Moonlight rather than with tools which are not controlled by Microsoft. There are many posts about it in his blog on November 12th (3 in one day, which is unusual). For example he says:

I know that various members of the Moonlight team are passionate about Moonlight because it is this next generation API for building GUI applications.

Which applications do you think are needed nad could be built with Moonlight?

I say video editing, and I have some ideas of how it should work.

The Mono-Nono Web site calls it “Moonlight Marching Orders” and explains this as follows:

Look for ever more of this sort of thing as Team Mono attempts to expand Mono and Moonlight. Team Mono is already getting marching orders to start pushing Moonlight harder, the first plan being a video editor.

A video editor is a beautiful infection vector for Moonlight, because:

1. Moonlight itself only safe to use for direct Novell customers,
2. All those nice proprietary video codecs that Novell has licensed from Microsoft are only safe for direct Novell customers as well.

So, Novell sees a great opportunity to spread Moonlight and the fruits of its Microsoft collaboration, while pretending to develop a “Linux” application.

So long as your “Linux” comes directly via Microsoft-approved Novell-only channels, of course – other Linux flavors need not apply – or redistribute.

Moonlight is a mess, based on the following message which was posted this afternoon:

Subject: Silverlight crap: the saga continues
From: Richard Rasker <spamtrap@linetec.nl>  (Linetec)
Date: Friday 13 Nov 2009 12:37:13
Groups: comp.os.linux.advocacy

Well, it’s been two weeks already since the last Moonlight update — you know, the one that broke Silverlight playback. How time flies. And sure enough, because this Microsoft crap requires on average one update per week, I got yet another notification: http://www.linetec.nl/linux/mooncrap1.png
OK, so I click “Install”. Oh, drat. Once again, it requires the installation of a codec pack: http://www.linetec.nl/linux/mooncrap2.png . Sheesh, this must be the fourth or fifth time that I installed it. Can’t these incompetent idiots even manage to create a codec pack that remains usable for two whole weeks? And yup, as expected, there’s the license again http://www.linetec.nl/linux/mooncrap3.png — in typical Microsoft fashion: unreadable lingo in a non-resizable window, no doubt meant to discourage more perseverent users. Copy/pasted it to a decent text editor, and read it.
OK, no truly onerous terms, apart perhaps from the patent provisions: http://www.linetec.nl/linux/mooncrap.txt
Then I noticed something: the installed update was Moonlight version 1.99.8, whereas the codec pack distinctly mentions that it’s “ONLY FOR USE WITH NOVELL’S MOONLIGHT 2.0 ALPHA VERSION.” Ah well, 1.99.8 is close enough to 2.0, so I guess it should work.

Except that it doesn’t. Not only that — the situation has even gotten worse: on some Web pages, Firefox now crashes immediately when clicking Silverlight content, and on other pages, nothing happens. So I tried running Firefox from a terminal window, to catch any messages:

  $ firefox
  Attempting to load libmoonloaderxpi
  Moonlight: Forcing client-side rendering because we detected binary drivers which are known to suffer performance problems.

Huh? The official nVidia drivers “suffer performance problems”? And how come this crapware is the *only* software complaining about it? From what I see, accelerated video rendering works absolutely great with my GeForce 8500 GT graphics card.

  Moonlight: Installing signal handlers for crash reporting.
  Moonlight: Enabling MONO_DEBUG=keep-delegates.
  Moonlight: Plugin AppDomain Creation: OK
  Moonlight: Plugin AppDomain Creation: OK
  URL /includes/wmvplayer.xaml downloaded successfully.
  URL /includes/wmvplayer.xaml downloaded successfully.

  (firefox:12436): Moonlight-CRITICAL **: void MediaElement::Pause(): assertion `playlist != NULL’ failed

  (firefox:12436): Moonlight-CRITICAL **: void MediaElement::Pause(): assertion `playlist != NULL’ failed
  Download of URL http://www.rtvoost.nl/nieuws/images/preview/itemsMedia/156318.jpg?nid=103704 failed: 1 (network error)
  Download of URL http://www.rtvoost.nl/nieuws/images/preview/audio.png?nid=103704 failed: 1 (network error)

Hm, OK, so those latter lines suggest that something’s wrong at the server side. But no, that can’t be, because it works under Windows. So two of the  biggest software companies in the world combined can’t even pull off a decent media player that works under Linux. Just compare this sorry mess with MPlayer: just a handful of guys (and perhaps gals) created a media player, complete with browser plugin, that has worked great from day one, on each and every Linux, Windows and Mac version.

So I give up on this closed source rubbish. I uninstalled everything having to do with Moonlight and Silverlight (regaining some 50MB of HD space in the process — probably all those useless codec packs), and I’ll tell my users that they’re out of luck when they stumble upon Silverlight content.

Richard Rasker

http://www.linetec.nl

Rather than present a rational rebuttal, Miguel de Icaza libels me in Twitter (personal attacks with outright lies). He still has some remaining defenders, who nonetheless acknowledge that “Mono is also seen by many as a potential legal landmine, due to Microsoft patents.”

The “Mono Tools” are based on Mono, a from-scratch open source implementation of .NET. Developed by the Novell-sponsored Mono project, which has also developed the Moonlight open source clone of Microsoft’s Silverlight, Mono has proven to be controversial in the open source community, as are most Novell-sponsored efforts that appear to sidle up to Microsoft. While an impressive piece of software, and imminently useful in a .NET dominated enterprise software world, Mono is also seen by many as a potential legal landmine, due to Microsoft patents.

There are issues greater than patents. It’s about control. No wonder Microsoft helps Mono so much, as the following new post puts it:

Microsoft has said that it backs Mono Tools, but then Microsoft would put their stamp of approval on products that integrate with its Visual Studio IDE (integrated development environment) as they “enrich the Visual Studio ecosystem” no less.

Of course Microsoft approves it. It’s beneficial to Microsoft, so it’s not competition. Mono is complementary to Microsoft, just like Novell is to Microsoft. Here is simple visualisation of where Mono fits.

What Microsoft wants
What Microsoft wants

Microsoft finds some other new complements for Visual Studio/.NET while pretending to have embraced “open source”. Only yesterday we wrote about Orchard, which is now being cast as independent even though it’s not. Microsoft knows that in order for people to swallow .NET it needs to pretend that it comes from other companies, preferably those who are perceived as “trusted”.

No more

09.20.09

Novell, Microsoft, and the “Microsoft Hater” Daemonisation Label

Posted in Apple, Corel, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 7:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“[The partnership with Microsoft is] going very well insofar as we originally agreed to co-operate on three distinct projects and now we’re working on nine projects and there’s a good list of 19 other projects that we plan to co-operate on.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

Summary: Microsoft and its little helpers at Novell carry on promoting .NET while stereotypical words are used to slap down critics

NOW that Miguel de Icaza is at CodePlex, it has become abundantly clear that he is willing to sidle with a company which attacks GNU/Linux with patents [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Novell can spin it as much as it wants, but people have learned Microsoft’s inherent behaviour time after time for decades. Nothing has changed. As CRN has just put it, “Open source community sceptical over vendor’s [Microsoft's] open source aims.”

Microsoft has failed to destroy Free software with slurs and aggression alone, so now it is trying to recruit other companies that will do the “dirty work” while Microsoft pretends to have befriended “Open Source”. It’s a classic mechanism for diffusing opposition — become so immersed in it, to the point where you become your own pseudo-opposition. That, for instance, is what Microsoft did to its longtime rivals such as Corel and Novell.

To make matters worse, as this discussion about Miguel de Icaza’s role at CodePlex puts it:

Generally, anyone who recognizes the pernicious nature of Microsoft’s corporate behavior is dismissed as a “Microsoft hater”. Of course, too few realize that discrediting by name-calling is the technique of those bankrupt of rational arguments. As a deplorable result, it is lingua franca of modern political discourse, ala Fox News.

We have already explained and shown that people who do not care about FOSS enter the FOSS world only to curse those who really believe in FOSS. We also have entire long posts debating the “Microsoft hater” label [1, 2]*. Microsoft does more than anyone else to deserve a certain type of treatment, so it's not a Microsoft-exclusive issue.

“Critics of Microsoft are conveniently dismissed as irrational haters.”The “Microsoft hater” label is far from dead. Nick Eaton, who writes for the blog whose purpose is mostly to praise Microsoft, opens one of his latest posts with “For those of you who hate Microsoft…”

See? Critics of Microsoft are conveniently dismissed as irrational haters. As if not agreeing with crime can actually make the skeptic inherently evil. The logic here goes like, “it’s not Microsoft that’s evil, it’s those who ‘hate’ it who are evil.”

Here is just a sample of Microsoft sins. This is the company that Novell and Miguel are helping, most recently by creating iphone MonoTouch, which is about extending Microsoft's ever-abusive monopoly.

Sites that cover a lot of Microsoft products seem to be among those who give it more coverage.

.NET developers will now be able to build iPhone and iPod Touch apps with Novell’s new MonoTouch framework. The catch is it doesn’t come cheap.

As part of the patent deal from 2006, Novell is looking to complement Microsoft’s monopoly and it is sad that so many people are unable to see it, despite Novell making it as clear as it gets.

Related posts:

_______
* The “Microsoft Hater” label seems to have been extended to the “Novell Hater” label, which some people now use to dismiss critics of the Novell/Microsoft deal. These labels bear a connotation that is intriguing because particular nations adopt similar daemonisation labels like “anti-Soviet” (a serious crime at the time) or “unamerican”, whereas in a nation like Sweden there is no analogous label as it would be preposterous and somewhat outlandish/foreign. These labels can be introduced and phased into society’s vocabulary through gradual indoctrination, e.g. imagery, strong words, and stereotypes. Peer pressure is then a policing force.

01.08.09

Microsoft May Conquer Novell from the Inside

Posted in Corel, Microsoft, Novell at 7:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Assimilation strategy

Novellsoft

We’ve warned about this all along.

Microsoft might be doing to Novell what it has been doing to VMware and to Yahoo. Speaking of which, earlier today it turned out that Microsoft had just nicked another Yahoo executive (head of Yahoo Korea).

Additionally, let us never forget about Corel, which Microsoft may have turned from a GNU/Linux vendor into a .NET workshop. Sounds familiar? How about Mono?

As for Novell, well… we warned about Microsoft’s influence in its management back in October. It goes in precisely the same direction that we had anticipated right from the start. Novell’s channel chief steps down (or up) only to be replaced by… a “Microsoft veteran”.

The Right Stuff?

Still, Colado’s short stint as channel chief raises some questions.

* Was Colado the right pick as channel chief back in September?
* Did Novell’s channel program move forward under his direction? Apparently yes, according to this insight from CRN. (UPDATE: Apparently, CRN took its story down because it lacked the fact that Colado had been promoted. Sorry about the dead CRN link, folks)
* Will Novell hire a new channel chief to report into Dragoon? It doesn’t sound like it.

But we’ve got an email into Novell requesting comment. (Update, Jan. 7, 2009: Novell says Dragoon is channel chief plus Novell hires Microsoft veteran.)

Yes, let Microsoft manage Novell’s channel. What does that make Novell? Part of Microsoft’s ecosystem? Prior to this, Colado only lasted a few months [1, 2, 3]. Pat Bernard too decided to step down (and quit) this role after a few months in the company [1, 2]. She does not seem to have responded to the Var Guy’s plea for an explanation, or maybe it just never got published.

“Our partnership with Microsoft continues to expand.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

12.09.08

Going Home for Christmas Early

Posted in Corel, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 8:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

NOT me, but those other guys from Novell. They go home to ‘mother ship’ (yes, again).

Visiting Microsoft

Joseph, Chris and myself are visiting Microsoft this week to learn more about Silverlight 3.0

Novell’s focus on Microsoft technologies is early sign of what Microsoft did to Corel after the company ‘dared’ to explore (and succeed with) GNU/Linux.

Novellsoft

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