Bonum Certa Men Certa

Novell Attempts to Defend Moonlight, But Sinks Deeper in the Mud

Man strikes back, hits own foot

Novell was not pleased with our understanding of Moonlight, but its rebuttal failed to impress. Worse -- it only confirmed and reaffirmed most of our suspicions. It even introduced new serious issues. Here it is:

Bruce Lowry of Novell's PR team here. You state in this piece that the only Linux Silverlight will run on is SUSE Linux Enterprise (citing, incidentally, a site called Boycott Novell, which one can surmise from its name is not objective). This isn't correct. Using Moonlight, Silverlight will run on any Linux distro supported by Mono, which is most of the major distros. It's true that, under the terms of our agreements with Microsoft, only SUSE Linux Enterprise will be able to bundle Moonlight into the distribution. However, users of other distributions will be able to run Silverlight on those distributions, if they so desire.


Actually, Bruce, I believe Matt was correct. Neither was he suggesting that "Linux Silverlight" would only run in SUSE Linux Enterprise, nor did we. Your assessment here only defends -- rather than contradicts -- what we said in the previous post on this huge problem.

Ignoring the pseudo-ad hominem attack their on our credibility (based on impulsive choice of a domain name), let's examine your points in turn:

"Using Moonlight, Silverlight will run on any Linux distro supported by Mono"

Of course it will. It will run. It will even fly. Where does it leave patent 'protection', which was introduced as a requirement when the deal was signed in November 2006? Users will be able to use Mono just as a Linux users in the United States are able to play their DVDs (hint: against the law). Will they have "balance-sheet liability" that needs paying in order to access Web sites which embraced XAML?

"It's true that, under the terms of our agreements with Microsoft, only SUSE Linux Enterprise will be able to bundle Moonlight into the distribution"

"Let the users break the law themselves," so to speak.So now we know that Novell gets 'special treatment' and that Microsoft has its reasons to keep Moonlight away (matters of convenience) from 'non-taxable' GNU/Linux distributions. How would Novell feel if Red Hat decided that its improvements to GNOME cannot be incorporated into a packaged SUSE (SLED/S)? The whole issue of prebundling being disapproved is akin to distributions which do not contain DVD playback capabilities 'out of the box'. Why? Legal reasons. "Let the users break the law themselves," so to speak.

Is this patent game the type of 'competitive advantage' Masie (of Novell) was talking about?

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