05.23.07

OOXML’s Dirty Little Tricks Are Off to Strong Start

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites, Open XML at 2:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Imagine the surprise. Once again, ‘security’ is used an an excuse to promote business agenda, defend a monopoly, and ‘extend’ standard functionality. Remember the days when Linux and Mac users were said to require premium editions of Windows Vista just to be allowed to virtualise it? Here is Microsoft’s explanation:

Microsoft says that it originally considered banning Vista on virtualization systems because of concerns it has about security. Apparently AMD and Intel have built virtualization hooks into their CPUS. While the aim of this was to allow virtualization to work better, Microsoft claims that it created a security flaw.

The question to ask here is this: if it is not secure, why impose a ‘tax’ on virtualisation? What will the difference be if an Edition with fewer features disabled get used? It was rather obvious at the time what was going on. Associated Press cited business reasons, not security.

Mystified yet? Now comes this from Microsoft-Watch:

Something stinks in Redmond, and it’s yesterday’s Microsoft Security Advisory #937696. I hate when Microsoft uses–or appears to–security as an excuse to accomplish some other objective.

[...]

Sorry, but I see MOICE and so-called security concerns about Office binary files as a Trojan Horse for OOXML, which its own Trojan Horse. As I explained on Thursday, OOXML is much more than a file format. Microsoft has platform ambitions for OOXML, as the company seeks to advance business intelligence and other initiatives.

Wonderful! And why was Novell supporting OOXML again? It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.

Here Comes the PR Stunt, Puts Spin on All the Bullying

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Novell, OpenOffice, Patents, Red Hat at 2:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Haven’t all seen this coming? Perhaps it’s nothing new. Microsoft now attempts to boast its ‘gentle image’, for it is not going to sue Linux (over something which it could never sue). John McCreesh puts it nicely:

According to John McCreesh, OpenOffice.org marketing project lead, the open-source world is convinced that Microsoft would not substantiate its allegations. “[Patent litigation] is not an issue, but the Microsoft statements turn a non-issue into an issue in the minds of some corporate buyers,” said McCreesh.

McCreesh added that while Microsoft may not have plans to sue, it could be using the threat of litigation to try to encourage corporate customers to move to those open-source product vendors with whom it had signed licensing agreements, such as Novell.

Yet again, it’s clear to see Novell’s role on this. Novell serves as a Microsoft ‘safe haven’ and a vocation for defection, to those who give up and cave in Microsoft’s threats. Novell could one day be perceived as the choice for the weak-hearted — those who believe they need to pay money for Linux, and for the privilege to communicate with Windows servers using proprietary and expensive protocols. Red Hat, on the other hand, has just decried software patents, having decried proprietary APIs quite recently.

Software patents are slowing innovation, Red Hat Chief Executive Matthew Szulik said Tuesday.

Another Novell Fan Leaves for Red Hat, Tells Story

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, NetWare, Novell, Red Hat at 12:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As a former Novell/SuSE fan, I can sympathise with the following man, who much like Guenther Deschner, has diverted his attention and relationship over to Red Hat. His reasons are actually technical, but the item worth exploring nonetheless. The author quotes another person and provides some counter-point arguments, so the discussion seems fairly balanced. Here is the punch:

For the most part, Red Hat — though a proprietary products vendor — stays true to the community spirit of open source software. For instance, Red Hat bought Netscape Directory Server and threw it on open source and gave it to the community, Klein said.

“Once I bought into the community, I became community-oriented. That’s Red Hat’s strength, and that’s where Novell falls short. To me, it looks like Novell just uses Linux as an entry to selling proprietary products to put on top of it. As for open source, it looks like Novell tosses its dead products out to the community.”

The partnership between Microsoft and Novell takes that approach — using Linux as a hook to sell proprietary products — a giant leap forward, in Klein’s opinion.

Let’s remind ourselves that Novell stated intent to buy proprietary software companies. This happened just over a week ago. If that is the case, then Novell’s plan for Linux bears some resemblance to Oracle’s plan for Unbreakable Linux. The comparison is an absurd one, but it seems valid as far as using Linux stacks for proprietary software is concerned. This could be a case of identity change, return to proprietary roots, or even change of agenda.

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