03.21.08

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Why Novell is Bad for Linux: Reason #100 (Virtualisationovell-only)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Servers, SLES/SLED, Steve Ballmer, Virtualisation, Windows, Xen at 9:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell’s deal with Microsoft may be good for Novell in some senses, but it is also very bad to Novell’s suppliers, which is turn will cost it dearly. Novell alienated itself by sidling with Microsoft against other Linux companies, notable Red Hat. We have already seen Novell helping Microsoft gain some ground in supercomputers, 'advertising' Vista and so on.

“Another good example of Novell’s harmful role involved virtualisation.”Another good example of Novell’s harmful role involved virtualisation. We have seen this coming for a long time and mentioned Hyper-V’s discrimination factor in the past [1, 2]. To an extent, XenSource (Citrix) plays a similar role [1, 2].

Have a look at this new short article/blog post, which says more about how things have developed with the arrival of Hyper-V’s Release Candidate:

Hyper-V Leaves Linux Out In The Cold

[...]

Wednesday, Microsoft said Hyper-V beta for Windows Server 2008 is feature complete. Included in the list of operating systems supported are Windows Server 2003 SP2, Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP1, Windows Vista SP1 (x86), and Windows XP SP3 (x86). See John Fontana’s article for more details about the Hyper-V RC announcement.

Though I’m anxious for Hyper-V to be released, especially the standalone version (which is not what this RC announcement was about), I’m very disappointed in Hyper-V’s lack of support for Linux.

No offense to SUSE Enterprise Server crowd, but only providing SUSE support in Hyper-V is a huge mistake. By not supporting Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS, and BSD, Microsoft is telling us Hyper-V is a Microsoft only technology. More Mt. Redmond, Microsoft center of the universe thinking. That’s disappointing.

Might this be a proper time to complain to the EU? It is abundantly clear, as we foresaw before, that Microsoft will try to pressure rivals into unwanted deals, using exclusion as an extortion card.

Over a similar type of abuse, in the past few weeks we saw Opera and Phoenix complaining, resulting in limited success. In both cases, the EU pushed Microsoft into a complaince route, although it was not entirely reasonable. In Google’s case (almost a year ago), it was far from reasonable because the US Department of Justice is far too close to Microsoft. TrueCrypt might be next to complain.

To get an idea of how close Microsoft and Novell are gradually becoming, read this additional short report.

However, Hyper-V’s Linux support is limited to SUSE. That’s no surprise, given Microsoft’s relationship with Novell, but more users have Red Hat, and other distributions. They won’t be able to use Microsoft’s virtualisation technology – though to be fair, they will probably be more interested in VMWare or Red Hat’s own virtualisation technology.

“We’re pleased with Hyper-V,” says Justin Steinman, director of Linux marketing at Novell. “SUSE Linux is a first class guest on Microsoft Windows Server.” Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer has shown SUSE Linux running as a guest, which was “cool”, said Steinman.

Love is in the air. Can you smell it too?

Novell and Microsoft piss on GNU/Linux codebase

In other semi-related news, yet another set of reports about Eclipse reveals a mixed bag. It covers Sam Ramji’s talk. There is skepticism from Eclipse developers who are being wooed by Microsoft. We warned about it before [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. On the face of it, Microsoft will continue to stick its fingers in the Eclipse pie.

The Eclipse Foundation looks destined to remain a mistress to Microsoft and Sun Microsystems – while the platform is married to IBM.

Be very careful. And remember the danger: Embrace, extend, and extenguish. People began chattering about Microsoft’s C# in Eclipse.

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18 Comments

  1. Victor Soliz said,

    March 21, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Gravatar

    I wonder why people still don’t believe that Novell is attempting to give its distro anti competitive advantages over the rest who wouldn’t want to pay the MS tax, after all Novell has been doing since Moonlight to Hyper-V…

  2. CoolGuy said,

    March 21, 2008 at 12:01 pm

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    @victor

    Money

  3. Shane Coyle said,

    March 21, 2008 at 11:12 pm

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    Actually, If memory serves me right, Novell took out a patent license regarding hypercall and such from Microsoft as a part of their now famous deal, which is why it’s just SUSE I would guess…

    boy, haven’t been around much lately – the place looks great, I like what you’ve done with it Roy ; ^ )

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 22, 2008 at 12:01 am

    Gravatar

    Thanks. :-) Please help by posting.There are so many dirty tricks to keep track of and so little time. :-)

    About Novell’s hypercalls, you’ve kept a closer eye than I did on this. You also gave Novell some spanking over this in their PR blog.

  5. Victor Soliz said,

    March 22, 2008 at 8:18 am

    Gravatar

    http://community.zdnet.co.uk/blog/0,1000000567,10007593o-2000469549b,00.htm?new_comment

    Novell is happy with Hiper-V….

    “We’re pleased with Hyper-V,” says Justin Steinman, director of Linux marketing at Novell. “SUSE Linux is a first class guest on Microsoft Windows Server.” Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer has shown SUSE Linux running as a guest, which was “cool”, said Steinman.

    But hey “Novell is one of the good guys”, doing “a lot of work for FLOSS” and “in no way they want to make split Linux by trying to make the rest a second class citizen” …

    We had the moonlight debacle, the OOXML debacle and now this, yet there are still people who ignored the issue, I just hope this hiper-v thing wakes people up.

  6. CoolGuy said,

    March 22, 2008 at 8:28 am

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    Let me tell you that Novell is M$ company. Microsoft is running it now. It is not a Linux company at all…

  7. CoolGuy said,

    March 22, 2008 at 8:30 am

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    Every Novell/SuSE Linux box sold will put money directly into M$ pocket.

    Novell/SuSE is M$ version of Linux.

    SuSE = M$ Linux.

  8. CoolGuy said,

    March 22, 2008 at 8:34 am

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    You do realize that how dangerous it is to put Novell people in the Gnome board or into other FOSS projects…

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 22, 2008 at 8:30 am

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    Thanks, Victor. I quoted exactly the same bit above and gave two more prior examples. These include Novell’s help for Microsoft Windows in HPC and even marketing. Then there’s Silverlight indeed, among so many other things.

    Novell and Microsoft do mutual favours and thrive in exclusion (as in “if you’re not with me, then you’re against me”). Unless you’re a Noveller, you cannot trust Novell. I believe we will see much better examples of this in years to come. See the links to Shane’s old pieces of analysis. He saw that coming before everyone else.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 22, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Gravatar

    You can try to help by supporting Bruce.

    http://www.fsdaily.com/Community/Boycott_Novell_Support_Bruce_Perens_Fight_Against_Invasion_of_the_Borgs

    Novell is also a major funding source in the Linux Foundation. It’s a trapdoor for Microsoft to have influence on Linux, which Novell helps it make a cash cow.

  11. CoolGuy said,

    March 22, 2008 at 8:43 am

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    Novell/SuSE = Microsoft Linux

  12. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 22, 2008 at 9:29 am

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    Novell’s Linux isn’t truly a a property of Microsoft and probably never will be. To Microsoft, it’s mainly about control. It’s about controlling the price and capabilities of rival products, e.g. making them subjected to “Microsoft tax” and incompatible with virtualisation technology on Server 2008. The key word here is control.

    Microsoft: everything is under control.

    Muhammed Saeed al Sahaf

  13. CoolGuy said,

    March 22, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Gravatar

    https://bugs.launchpad.net/lubi/+bug/129611

    More mono infestation of ubuntu

  14. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 22, 2008 at 10:48 am

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    Wow. Thanks for the headsup. I’ll post about it shortly.

  15. Victor Soliz said,

    March 22, 2008 at 2:31 pm

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    Sorry Roy, I don’t know how I managed to miss that you have already commented about that article in this post.

  16. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 22, 2008 at 9:33 pm

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    Hey, no worries. I had to carefully rewrite my words just to ensure it’s seen as polite.

  17. Sid Clink said,

    May 29, 2008 at 11:17 am

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    There’s no reason to worry about not having other flavors of Linux on Hyper-V. There’s other hypervisors out there that are plenty capable of running Linux (VMware, Xen). If MS doesn’t want to support Linux on their hypervisor, who cares?

  18. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 29, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Gravatar

    Those whose datacentres may have Hyper-V due to ‘convenience’/preinstallations/bundle deals. Not everyone gets to choose the technology. Remember Netscape?

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