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LinuxToday Responses to Novell’s Good News

Posted in Asia, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, SLES/SLED at 10:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Check out some of the comments in LinuxToday. They are posted in response to the news that SLED preloads have begun in China’s Thinkpads. As you can see, the comments are largely hostile.

Example #1

Marcos – Subject: Suse, No Thanks ! ( Jan 12, 2008, 17:00:59 )

“The starting price for this system will be $949, $20 less than the same laptop with Vista Home Premium.”
Hahaha, is this a joke ? Oh, I forgot the M$ tax that Novell pays to M$ as partner.
Why not Lenovo doesn’t put Ubuntu, Mandriva or other non-M$-blessed linux distribution ?
I want the option of linux or even NO OEM operating system for ALL notebooks !

Example #2

cjm – Subject: SLED is a silly idea… ( Jan 12, 2008, 20:28:50 )
…and it won’t do anything except feed into the meme that “people don’t want Linux.”

Setting aside, for the moment, my distaste for a GNU/Linux distribution produced in collaboration with Microsoft, the market for “Enterprise” releases is generally to a class of user capable of installing the OS themselves (or by the IT department) if the hardware is truly compatible. And since SLED ain’t the only “Enterprise” game in town, the Enterprise isn’t all waiting with bated breath for SLED preloads…the majority of GNU/Linux laptops will run something else.

So the majority of prospective buyers will get a chance to pay for SLED in order to immediately replace it with RedHat or one of the freely available distributions.

A better approach (if a vendor is serious about serving the GNU/Linux market), would be to provide a laptop with full hardware compatibility with one or more freely available distributions. Load one of them on the machine as proof of GNU/linux compatibility and pass the entire savings in OS cost on to the buyer. If the buyer wants OS support, then they can buy it from Novell or RedHat with the OS after hardware delivery, and without guessing at how much they paid for it, or from Canonical for a set price for freely available Ubuntu, or whatever other combination of distribution and support they want.

And I think when a major vendor finally approaches GNU/Linux this way, without hiding their offerings behind “We recommend genuine Windows ____,” then we’ll know that we’ve found a vendor who is serious about GNU/Linux.

Example #3

blackhole – Subject: Re: Why the Hate? ( Jan 13, 2008, 11:45:34 )
> Why are people so hateful of Novell? Sure the deal with Microsoft seems rather unnecessary, but perhaps Novell viewed it as a way to differentiate their GNU/Linux distribution from that of RedHat.

Why the venom? Because Novell conspired with MS to find a loophole in the then current GPL. And then used the loophole to execute the sort of patent agreement that the GPL was designed to prohibit. The reason the GPL seeks to prohibit such things is because such agreements remove the freedom the GPL tries to guarantee. That is reason enough there. But the agreement also increases the risks of lawsuits for those that MS has not declared “protected.” And has given MS quite a bit of ammunition to fuel their FUD machine. I do not take kindly to people — or companies — kicking sand in my face.

Your post then goes on to talk about technical merit and the fact that you can replace the traitor’s software with another distro. I submit that is irrelevant to the discussion of how Novell and their software should be treated. I can also buy a computer with MS preinstalled. But I won’t.

You end with an admonition to “stop bitching.” I actually wouldn’t have posted anything had you not asked your question which has an obvious and well known answer. As far as the venom toward Novell, mine will not stop until either Novell cancels their patent agreement with MS or they die.

Example #4

CD Baric – Subject: Re: Re: Why the Hate? ( Jan 13, 2008, 12:12:04 )

I totally agree!

>As far as the venom toward Novell, mine will not stop until either Novell cancels their patent agreement with MS or they die.

The third and most likely conclusion will be when the agreement times out. This agreement is for a specific period of time and when it ends Novell will likely find itself in the belly of the beast – it will be THE PERFECT opportunity for Microsoft to sue Novell out of existance.

It is so obvious – by signing an IP license agreement with Microsoft they are actually agreeing that they are employing Microsoft IP, whether it is explicitly itemized or not.

When the agreement comes to and end and Microsoft elects not to renew, they will demand Novell STOP using their IP which they maintain is inherent in Linux and many FOSS applications and utilities. It’s not like Novell can all of a sudden deny the existance of Microsoft IP because that is what the MS IP license agreement was all about.

Goodbye Novell, Xandros and every other unfortunate Microsoft (Linux IP) licensee.

Microsoft cannot compete with Linux and FOSS on merit so it is going to rely on it’s tried and true anti-competitive tactics of FUD, Embrace, Extend & Extinguish and now the Patent Trap.

Microsoft Lies Cheats and Steals!

CD ‘Bar’ Baric

The purpose of repeating these comment here (Brian would hoefully forgive us) is to show that Novell is not popular, not even in long-standing Linux sites. Either that or we are a very, very vocal minority.

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  1. Vexorian said,

    January 13, 2008 at 10:50 pm


    I think the whole point to ask for a computer not to come with windows is to about the MS tax. Yet getting SLED with a computer kinda looks worthless to me.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 13, 2008 at 11:09 pm


    If you have Flash/gnash installed, watch this video. The first 7 minutes are relevant. This also explains a history reference where one company extracts profits even from its own competitors! That’s just what Microsoft strives to do at the moment. There’s a good reference there also for OOXML and software patents — about companies becoming large enough to write their own laws and control votes.

  3. Vexorian said,

    January 13, 2008 at 11:15 pm



    I think the whole point to ask for a computer not to come with windows is to avoid to pay the MS tax

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