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Novell and Xandros Are Promoting Windows, Again

Gates on SUSE



Summary: Novell elevates Windows in datacentres, Xandros wants to live with Windows

IT HAS BEEN a long time since we last pointed out that Novell supports ActiveX, Windows Vista, Internet Explorer, .NET, and even XAML.



Novell's relationship with Microsoft is simple. Like a relationship where the guy gets love and the woman gets his bank account, in the Novell/Microsoft relationship Novell is given some coupons and endorsement in exchange for GNU/Linux FUD like "IP peace of mind". Additionally, Microsoft advances its APIs with Novell's help. The examples above include .NET and Silverlight, but there may be more, such as Active Directory. Novell markets this as a necessary bridge while Microsoft uses this to keep regulators away and attract GNU/Linux users to Windows (poaching). When the goal is merely to mimic Windows, then the outcome is naturally inferior for that who is mimicking.

As we wrote some days ago, both Xandros and Novell are giving Microsoft more control over GNU/Linux in the datacentre [1, 2]. Here is the next natural step.

Suse Linux and Windows will become more closely integrated next week, when Novell releases a product allowing Microsoft management tools to monitor the open source operating system.


Novell makes Microsoft the captain in the DC. In simple terms, Novell says that it will help develop a tool that makes GNU/Linux subordinate to Windows where GNU/Linux is already very dominant. Back in 2006 and 2007 Ron Hovsepian insisted that this was part of the arrangement all along. In exchange for cash infusions from Microsoft, Novell will ensure that Windows gains/keeps the upper hand in some areas.

As the article above states, what Novell now boasts are "joint sales of Linux support certificates." This is just a sophisticated name for "patent protection". It comes from Microsoft. It is granted only to clients of Novell, but Xandros too has a 'protection' programme. It is worth emphasising that Xandros is "kind of getting away from being a Linux company," to quote its product marketing manager. The company is also assuming that Linspire customers are Windows users whilst selling software that absolutely requires Windows. David at ITWire asks whether Xandros is now "a Microsoft stooge" just like Corel.

Xandros President Michael Bego told DesktopLinux.com that Xandros would announce at the coming LinuxWorld conference a complete desktop solution aimed specifically at low-powered PCs, making it “a practical solution for machines which have no hope of running resource-hungry Microsoft products.”

While such a statement proclaims a chief achievement of Linux, namely its ability to effectively and efficiently run modern software on low-powered hardware, it is surprising and telling by today’s standards that Bego did not also claim Xandros would be a viable alternative to Microsoft Windows on contemporary hardware.

It was not known then but Xandros was soon to become central to one of the greatest farces in Linux history, known as LindowsOS.

[...]

These objectives are good and right. Yet, has Xandros gone too far, becoming a proprietary system of its own? Is Microsoft actually waging a war against Linux through cross-collaboration agreements by diluting the message of open source software and software freedom?


Hence the purpose of Boycott Novell.

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