05.29.07

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More Deception, More Silence, More FUD, and More “Gorilla Dust”

Posted in Antitrust, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, GPL, Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant, Patents, Samba, Servers at 6:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Here is a short summary of the most recent developments, accompanied by selective quotes.

More spin comes from Microsoft under the disguise of pursuing interoperability (which is based on ‘tax’).

Microsoft denies saber-rattling vs. open source

Microsoft Corp. has denied that it is out to resurrect its patent offensive against the open source software community, saying it was actually going for interoperability.

If that is the case, why have Europe’s requests been ignored for seveal years? Microsoft inflated its market share by making its servers incompatible with those of competitors. According to a Samba developer, this was deliberate, too.

‘In the section of the interview from around 33m30s to 39m00 Jeremy Allison reports how he was told that the Microsoft team implementing SMB2 were ordered to “f**k with Samba”.’

In any event, moving on to the next item, Novell refuses to comment further. It believes it has escaped obligation to clarify, at least for the time being.

Novell executives declined to be interviewed about the filings. “We’ve already provided the high-level comments when we announced the deal in November – around making Linux and Windows work better together, the areas of tech cooperation, the covenants not to sue. All the customer-focus stuff that drove the deal,” said Novell spokesman Bruce Lowry. “The agreements provide more meat on the bones in support of those objectives.”

Have a look at this article if time permits it. Justin Steinman’s response seems to imply that it’s fine to let Microsoft eat Linux alive as long as Novell makes a bit of cash. It is unsurprising that a Novell executive has already admitted the deal with Microsoft was a selfish one. To add some balance, here’s a typical response from an apologist for Novell. The business sense there completely neglects to understand that businesses cannot just exploit and punish their supplier — the programmer. That is precisely what Novell has done through its exclusionary and discriminatory deal.

Finally, here is another explanation and another interesting angle on the tactics used by Microsoft.

One of these days, I hope to gain some insight into the mind of Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft. For years I’ve been trying to understand why these guys continue to pursue their goal of virtual global domination instead of just becoming a valued and trusted member of the greater wired community.

[...]

Their accusation could be what my old pal Ross Perot used to call “gorilla dust.” This refers to the way a great ape will throw dirt and debris into the air during a fight to try and distract his opponent.

It appears as though, while Linux deals with the dust, Novell counts the cash. It accepted an enticing invitation to a room filled with smoke and mirrors. It was blinded by money and in the long term it will pay the price. Although Eben Moglen insists that GPLv3 is not just about Novell, he very recently confirmed that the Novell issue shall be resolved, too.

Professor Moglen explains briefly about GPLv3′s work on globalization of the software license, preventing harm to others by members of the community, and the most contentious in earlier drafts, DRM.

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