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Poisoning Mobile Linux With Microsoft Staff and Mono

Rat poison



Summary: How Microsoft interferes with the success of Linux-powered platforms, notably using entryism and software patents

MICROSOFT is losing the mobile race. It's not even a contender anymore. The Register's pro-MAFIAA and freedom-hostile Andrew Orlowski blocked comments when he linked to reports that we mentioned last night about Nokia's threat from Microsoft. Elop seems to be 'pulling a Maritz' (not Putting on the Ritz) by considering en masse dismissals and a Microsoft deal. But not only MeeGo seems to be at stake (Novell's Mono team is also trying to put Mono in it). The emerging market leader, Android, is also being harassed by Microsoft.



“The emerging market leader, Android, is also being harassed by Microsoft.”The king of Android (and formerly a Java promoter at Sun), Eric Schmidt, helped create what's probably the most commonly used distribution of Linux. Schmidt's role at Novell is still noted by a lot of Web sites which speak about his departure from Google's throne (latest examples can be seen at [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]). Android is now under patent attacks by Microsoft and some allies of Microsoft, so the fact that Novell helps Microsoft must not give him much comfort.

The main vector of attack against Android seems to be patents. Most major distributors of Android already pay Microsoft for Linux, for alleged software patents they would never name. To make matters worse, Novell is trying to put Mono inside Android and friends of Microsoft (the writer is Wallace McClure in this case) are currently offering free promotion of .NET/Mono for Android in a two-part series [1, 2]. It can help infect Android with Microsoft patent traps that later the monopolist will use, even after warnings. Watch this new piece from SD Times (occasional Mono booster):

Furthermore, a new set of .NET controls for Android comes in beta version optimized for MonoDroid. As soon as Novell releases a full version of MonoDroid, the Android Edition of Resco MobileForms Toolkit will go live in full version.


Mono is becoming a real pain in the bum and it is a joint product of Microsoft and Novell (Mono codebase includes bits from both companies).

Docky is one popular Mono project that we wrote about before (it extends others but gets extended too) and its developer works for Canonical now, helping to port a Vala project to C (Unity). Over at Identi.ca, "Toros" says that he got "elementary Wingpanel and Plank dock (Docky rewritten in Vala) in action (screenshot)," which means that there is hope for a move towards C as well.

“Such people carry the baggage of Novell influence even after leaving the company, experience suggests.”As one last item of interest, consider this new press release about former Ximian staff becoming a Vice President: "Over the past 20 years, Mancusi-Ungaro has held senior marketing positions in technology companies ranging from start-up to leaders in their respective markets. He is best known for his work at open source start-up Ximian, which was acquired by Novell. During his tenure as director of marketing for Linux and Open Source at Novell, he was a leader of Novell’s worldwide Linux and open source marketing efforts, developing and refining Novell’s approach to marketing open source technologies in the enterprise space and serving as key company spokesperson on open source issues and direction. While at Novell, Mancusi-Ungaro developed Novell’s Lizard Blizzard strategy and was one of the co-founders of the award-winning openSUSE project. He also held senior marketing leadership positions at Lotus/IBM, Webhire, Deltek Systems, and Health Allianze. Mancusi-Ungaro holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Hamilton College."

Chris Mellor said about it that "Greg Mancusi-Ungaro joins the Enterprise deduplicating data protection array vendor after stints at Novell and Ximian, which was bought by Novell. Attachmate bought Novell in November last year." Another news site said that "Sepaton Inc. named of Greg Mancusi-Ungaro VP of marketing. Mancusi-Ungaro previously worked at Novell, Lotus/IBM, Ximian, Webhire, Deltek Systems and Health Allianze."

Such people carry the baggage of Novell influence even after leaving the company, experience suggests. There is this tendency people have to use what's familiar from the previous employer or former colleagues and amid new memories of IPX, one must also consider Novell history in relation to other moves between companies, e.g.:

The company clearly lists its management team, which includes financial and technology veterans who previously worked at Paine-Webber, Novell and US Internetworking.


The Microsoft-backed Novell is turning out to be a lot of trouble. That's what makes it so necessary to keep track of Novell's folly. Based on its latest announcement, Novell brings to market nothing but proprietary software. Gone are the days of 2005 when Novell truly dabbled in some FOSS. Novell is now batting for Microsoft and it causes real damage to Linux (not SLE*, which pays Microsoft).

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