02.10.07

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Self-serving Articles versus the Voices of Freedom

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, FSF, FUD, GNU/Linux, Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, Samba, Virtualisation at 6:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Biased articles are becoming ordinary, rather than the rare exception. Take as an example this older review of Linux distributions, or even some anti-Linux spin.

Let us separate apart opinions of those who speak for their career’s sake and those who are realists. Jeremy Allison, for example, understands that the deal is not about interoperability. Microsoft will not gain from interoperability, let alone pay $0.3 million for it. Here is an article with a self-explanatory headline:

Novell-Microsoft pact not about interoperability, says Open Source leader

Compare this article to the voices of those who are torn between commitments (idealogy and GPL spirit, if any) and their employer. Here is a very recent interview with a Novell representative in India:

Customers want interoperability of proprietary systems with Linux

Acquiring SuSE, forming a strategic alliance with Microsoft—Novell has been busy raising its profile in India where Linux as a server OS has entered production environments. Revathi Kasturi, managing director-West Asia, Novell speaks to Abhinav Singh about the pact and the positioning of Novell in the Indian market.

Then there’s the perspective of Microsoft. Again, it is being published in the form of an article in C|Net.

Microsoft: Novell deal a milestone despite squabbles

Nonetheless, Microsoft top lawyer Brad Smith hails the deal as a landmark that still holds the potential of bringing together the open-source and commercial software business models.

Here is another one:

Microsoft is more serious about Linux than Oracle

Microsoft wants to make sure Linux runs as well as they can make it run on Viridian, their future Xen-like hypervisor scheduled for release sometime next year.

The author seems rather convinced that Microsoft has a genuine interest in the benefits of Linux. He also seems to give his approval. Then Novell chimes in:

“Nobody can stop us from selling Linux!

I really hope that the FSF and Novell will find a way out of this, and that what I read in the Infoweek article was just yet another PR mistake from an uninformed and arrogant Novell spokesperson.

It is rather disappointing to see the state of today’s press, which is driven by many factors, some of which are commercial. Journalists are begging for traffic with inflammatory, inaccurate, or imprecise headlines.

On a brighter note, Fluery had some encouraging words for the community: “I have done what I can to help Red Hat succeed. People need to understand that open source is a tsunami that is transforming the software industry in its wake, and its inevitability is now well beyond challenge or the force of individual personality.” In another good column from Jeremy Allison you will find some insights on independent development and its merits in local markets.

Local software for local people

Part of the report deals with the little-known (outside of Europe anyway) success of the GNU/Linux deployment in the Extremadura region of Spain, where regional government adopted a Debian Linux distribution for local use. This involved changing the often rather obscure names of free software programs to something more meaningful to non-technical users (why do we use something called “FireFox” to browse the Web?), complete localization, and — more importantly — customization of the desktop distribution to make it meaningful to local people.

Allison also refers to an high-impact study, which was backed by the European Commisson. Mind you, Microsoft used its pressure groups in Europe as means of lobbying against the study. It put the Commission under a lot of pressure.

The European Commission has resisted efforts by Microsoft to make it abandon its report into open source software, it was revealed this week

[...]

The software giant also commissioned a respected university academic to back its case and enlisted the help of a trade association, CompTIA.

But lobbying is probably a long story worthy of another blog item on another day! :-)

Here are some more links of interest:

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8 Comments

  1. Stephane Rodriguez said,

    February 10, 2007 at 8:03 am

    Gravatar

    Great post!

  2. Stephen said,

    February 10, 2007 at 5:59 pm

    Gravatar

    Disconnected diatribe. Did Novell sack you or something?

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 11, 2007 at 1:19 am

    Gravatar

    Did Novell sack you or something?

    I’m not sure if you address Stephane or me, but regardless: no. I was contributing to SuSE in my free time. What Novell did is not only betrayal of its own community, but also betrayal of Linux and GNU developers.

  4. Draconishinobi said,

    February 11, 2007 at 1:23 am

    Gravatar

    “What Novell did is not only betrayal of its own community, but also betrayal of Linux and GNU developers.”

    I agree … “Novell sacked the FLOSS community” might be more appropriate. Which, of course, is unacceptable.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 11, 2007 at 1:44 am

    Gravatar

    “Novell sacked the FLOSS community” may be an understanement even. It also put the FLOSS community at risk.

  6. Heads chopped in Novell India said,

    November 20, 2007 at 9:33 am

    Gravatar

    Saturday, November 03, 2007: Novell has undergone a major reorganisation in India. The buzz is that, as part of this reorganisation, top shots at Novell India have moved out including Revathi Kasturi, managing dierctor, Novell India. And now Sandeep menon, the ex-IBMer who was heading Linux sales, will head the entire Indian sales team/operations.

    Besides Revathi, quite a few directors have been affected by this reorganisation, including: Jayant Rastogi, head, channels; Amit Nagar, director, channels; Amit Bhatnagar, head, BFSI and manufacturing and Shashi Kapoor, director, government and telecom. At the same time, many Linux drivers remain with Novell India, which include Nishant Verma (now) head, government and telecom; Rahul Krishna Gupta, linux business; and Dr PK Mishra.

    Sources indicate that the new team is now going to totally focus on Linux-related products and services, while all other products like GroupWise, etc. will be sold only when the customer demands. It is still to be seen what role Novell’s ‘colonial cousin’ Microsoft played in this earthquake.

    Left with Novell:
    Sandeep Menon, head, Novell’s sales operations in India

    Left novell
    Revathi Kasturi, managing director
    Jayant Rastogi, director channels
    Amit Nagar, director channels
    Amit Bhatnagar, BSFI and manufacturing
    Shashi Kapoor, director, government and telecom.

  7. Revathi Kasturi Sacked from Novell India said,

    November 20, 2007 at 9:34 am

    Gravatar

    Saturday, November 03, 2007: Novell has undergone a major reorganisation in India. The buzz is that, as part of this reorganisation, top shots at Novell India have moved out including Revathi Kasturi, managing dierctor, Novell India. And now Sandeep menon, the ex-IBMer who was heading Linux sales, will head the entire Indian sales team/operations.

    Besides Revathi, quite a few directors have been affected by this reorganisation, including: Jayant Rastogi, head, channels; Amit Nagar, director, channels; Amit Bhatnagar, head, BFSI and manufacturing and Shashi Kapoor, director, government and telecom. At the same time, many Linux drivers remain with Novell India, which include Nishant Verma (now) head, government and telecom; Rahul Krishna Gupta, linux business; and Dr PK Mishra.

    Sources indicate that the new team is now going to totally focus on Linux-related products and services, while all other products like GroupWise, etc. will be sold only when the customer demands. It is still to be seen what role Novell’s ‘colonial cousin’ Microsoft played in this earthquake.

    Left with Novell:
    Sandeep Menon, head, Novell’s sales operations in India

    Left novell
    Revathi Kasturi, managing director
    Jayant Rastogi, director channels
    Amit Nagar, director channels
    Amit Bhatnagar, BSFI and manufacturing
    Shashi Kapoor, director, government and telecom.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 20, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    Gravatar

    There are some more rumours about 1,100 jobs to be axed.

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