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Microsoft and Novell Approach Convergence

Novell is Microsoft's GPL 'shadow'

Microsoft has pretty much admitted that it uses Novell to implement Free software 'on behalf' of Microsoft because the company from Redmond hates the GPL and constantly incites everyone against it. But Microsoft still needs the GPL in order to get ardent GPL supporters 'addicted' to its patents-encumbered APIs (e.g. Mono).



Those who are responsible for this work are occasionally working for Novell from inside Microsoft and Novell is even welcoming Microsoft employees to join Novell's management [1, 2, 3]. This is how convergence is gradually achieved.

The class of convergence in this case is more like assimilation because Novell is adopting Microsoft APIs and constantly adapting to its new paymasters (Microsoft, in essence, pays some of the wages at Novell). It's not a reciprocal relationship because output does not flow the other way around.

Novell seems to have just paid for a press release to celebrate the 1.0 release of Microsoft's "pet project".

The Mono€® Project, an open-source initiative sponsored by Novell, today announced the availability of MoonlightTM 1.0. The first and only open source project that provides Linux* users access to Microsoft* Silverlight* content, Moonlight demonstrates Novell's commitment to making Linux a first-class platform for multimedia and Rich Internet Applications. Moonlight provides the platform Linux users need to use Silverlight and Windows* Media content. In combination with BansheeTM, a Novell-sponsored project to produce an open source media player, Moonlight is part of a complete multimedia solution on Linux.


There is some more balanced press coverage in OStatic.

The Financial Times is abuzz with the standards-hostile term known as interoperability, claiming it is "the great enabler."

Global financial markets are in disarray but prospects for innovation in the real economy have never been more robust. Innovations once crafted to stand alone are increasingly built to work together, or “interoperate”.


Well, interoperability is not needed if one complies with open standards, but Microsoft does not like these. It never did. For example, in a bit of internal correspondence [PDF], Bill Gates wrote: "In one piece of mail people were suggesting that Office had to work equally well with all browsers and that we shouldn’t force Office users to use our browser. This Is wrong and I wanted to correct this.

"Another suggestion In this mail was that we can’t make our own unilateral extensions to HTML I was going to say this was wrong and correct this also."

Does Microsoft sound like a company that is interested in interoperability, let alone in standards?

Anyway, in another disturbing but unsurprising news about a development, Novell and Microsoft are sharing a room again. It's a joint seminar.

Web seminar: Driving datacentre agility



[...]

The speakers will walk through an overview of the technology, discuss a number of offerings in the market with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server preconfigured as an optimised guest on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, and share insights into how mixed source virtualisation can help improve operational efficiency.


This is a GNU/Linux-hostile spiel that promotes only software patents and a form of 'Microsoft tax' to be forcibly imposed on GNU/Linux. This point was explained in [1, 2].

Novell is not about Freedom. It's not about open source, either. It's primarily about the Microsoft ecosystem these days.

Monopoly

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