Bonum Certa Men Certa

Why It's Important to Weaken Novell and SUSE

Reader's thoughts

Two days ago at ServerWatch (JupiterMedia), Paul Rubens claimed that "Novell continued its strategy of dancing with the devil by agreeing to take up to $100 million of Microsoft's closed-source-derived money in exchange for support coupons to give away or sell to its customers."

With typical exceptions, the media openly states what Novell has done and why this is harmful to Free software. Yesterday, in response to the following comment (there are more) on this article, Slated wrote that "[this is] an excellent, if incomplete, comment:"

By using a distribution which shares (much more than just) the name with the one Novell sells, you are supporting them, to argue otherwise is somewhat bizarre. Just as you are supporting debian if you use ubuntu, or redhat if you use centos or fedora (or Sun if you use gcj or any other Java, or MS if you use mono). Not only in terms of using the product and becoming a statistic, but also learning how it works and all of its little differences with competitors products. This 'invested knowledge' will always influence your decisions in the future.

"The bit that's missing is where this 'invested knowledge' spreads like a disease to others one influences, resulting in viral mindshare that propagates Microsoft's twisted ideologies; politics; development paradigms; propaganda; and agenda, thus ultimately benefiting them (the enemy of Free Software and Open Standards) as they ultimately harvest that mindshare "investment". This in turn makes them even more powerful and thus more invincible in their quest to supplant Freedom with their own brand of slavery, as they assume the role of Corporate Dictator in the IT industry (and anywhere else they can dominate).

"And if you think the concept of "mindshare investment" is ridiculous, consider that Microsoft actually went as far as sabotaging a charity just to be able to give away Windows to the third-world (somewhere that neither they nor Intel, their partners-in-crime, ever even considered to be a "market" at all before the emergence of the OLPC), rather than allow Free Software to win that mindshare.

"As Bob Cringely put it: "[Microsoft] are willing to lose money for years and years just to make sure that you don't make any money, either."

"That's not competing, it's dumping, or IOW suppressing the competition by saturating the market, to the point where that market no longer exists for anyone but Microsoft (through vendor lock-in and the upgrade treadmill). It's just one element (along with OEM bribes) that defines Microsoft's "business" as racketeering. And it really is racketeering; I'm not just using that word to be sensationalist. How else would one describe such a viciously and unethically enforced monopoly?

"This is also the reason it's so important to Microsoft that they "own" all the standards as well. They used to do this by perverting industry standards to their own proprietary specifications (e.g. Java and HTML), but, as a result of various lawsuits and anti-trust measures, they can no longer do that with impunity, so now they've adopted the devious tactic of creating ostensibly "open" standards that are actually encumbered with their Intellectual Monopoly, and certain gullible Free Software developers are falling into the trap (or willingly and malevolently hurling themselves into it).

"This is one of the most important points that I'm trying to convey WRT Mono ... it's a subtle but effective way of recruiting converts to the "Microsoft Way€®", both in terms of (erstwhile) Free Software developers' views of Intellectual Monopolies, and their development paradigms. Microsoft is not only poisoning the Well, but they're recruiting an army of FOSS traitors to help them do so, who in turn recruit more traitors to poison the Well, exponentially.

"Microsoft are destroying their enemy (the Free Software community) from within, and Mono developers and users are helping, unwittingly or otherwise, and irrespective of whether or not they acknowledge that fact - they are further strengthening Microsoft's base of power, and it's not power they intend to use for good, as they've adequately demonstrated in the past.

"Of course apathy or malevolence tends to make certain people "forget" the past; as they systematically shred the truth from their own minds, and replace it with rose-tinted platitudes, just as Microsoft themselves do with Emails and other damning evidence of their crimes, that would otherwise become court documents.

"Take Miguel de Icaza, for example, who seems to think that Windows hasn't crashed since the days of version 3.1; that the issues people have with Microsoft are based purely in irrational and unjustifiable "demonisation" (or to use that common Americanism - they're just "Haters"); and has nothing to do with with the technical integrity of Microsoft's software. No, I'm not making this up - see for yourself:

"(Fast-forward 24 minutes into the video).

"How apt that this video is only available in Microsoft's proprietary format. Presumably the Free Software community were never meant to see it (without "violating" Microsoft's "IP").

"If this level of brainwashing is any indication of the typical state of mind amongst Mono developers and (willing) users, then clearly they are an utterly lost cause. They're not just sleeping with the enemy; they're revising (or ignoring) history to delude themselves that this is perfectly acceptable, and that those who decry their support of Microsoft are "zealots" who "demonise" them.

"No doubt SUSE users and developers perceive dissenters like me in the same light. Anything I say against Microsoft and those who support them, must be some kind of personal attack on innocent people. Of course they say that, then turn to smile at their new-found friend, the Devil."


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