07.08.08

Mark Shuttleworth Denounced Microsoft-Novell Deal Again

Posted in GNU/Linux, Interview, Microsoft, Novell, Ubuntu at 4:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Good to see a man’s mind does not soften

Enveloped in the third page of an interview that we cited yesterday was this:

What’s your sense of the Novell-Microsoft deal? Is it a net negative for Linux, or is there anything positive in it?

[Mark Shuttleworth: ] I think it’s positive in that it suggests that Microsoft is increasingly conscious of the need to engage with Linux. I think the terms under which they concluded that specific deal are negative for Linux as a whole, in that they tried to lock down, to entrench, a certain view of the economics of Free software. If you look at the deal, it very much assumes that software is being sold, so it tries to impose the economics of the ‘80s on the 21st century, and I don’t think that’s going to fly.

It’s a little bit like DRM, which tries to impose the economics of vinyl on a digital music industry. I think a lot of people are now saying, ‘Gosh, it’s not actually the music industry that’s suffering, it’s the record industry that’s suffering’ – the music industry is thriving.

And similarly, I think, any attempt to slow down the pace of innovation in the economics, as much as in the technology, is doomed to fail. And at heart I think that’s what’s wrong with the deal that was struck there.

It was very interesting to see, after the announcement of the deal, how much disagreement there was between the parties as to what the deal actually meant. And I think that’s a clear sign that it was something that was hastily concluded.

Anyhow, we don’t begrudge anybody their partnerships, we’re just very clear about the specific values that we hold dear. And we would not conclude a deal with Microsoft on the same terms – we don’t think that would be constructive for our users or for Free software as a whole.

This is not the first time that Mark criticises the Novell/Microsoft deal [1, 2]. In previous interviews he even called it “racketeering”.

“It is in Novell’s interest – selfish interest, I will admit – to advance-remove whatever those inhibitors be to the advancement of Linux and open source.”

John Dragoon, Novell

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: July 5-7th, 2008

Posted in IRC Logs at 4:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Read the rest of this entry »

No, Virginia, There Won’t be Spire Under Xandros

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, Linspire, Patents, Xandros at 4:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No more than there will be a GNU/Linux under the Microsoft-reformed Corel

Let’s set the record straight. Linspire is over. The way it was finished is an embellishment. They call it an acquisition [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], but with a sale of all assets, it’s more like a liquidation. Wishful thinkers realise that Freespire won’t be buried overnight. Well, the same goes for Windows XP, right? But does that mean that Windows XP will make a comeback? It’s a rhetorical question.

If you look at what Robertson had to say. you soon understand that he no longer has interest in Linspire. He has no high hopes for it (well, the GPLv3′s punishment for Linspire makes this deserved and inevitable).

There are those who disagree and there will probably be a vocal confrontation or legal battle, but this does not change the fate of a distribution that aligned with Microsoft’s interests and then used its position to threaten Free software.

As often is the case, VAR Guy just doesn’t get it. He is one of those who write about GNU/Linux but don’t really use it.

Goodbye, Linspire (at least as a standalone company). And thank you to Xandros for funding a market consolidation that’s badly needed. The VAR Guy applauds customer choice and open source.

This is actually a follow-up to the latest anti-choice folly, which began with a mindless ramble from Mac elitist Matt Asay. They really don’t understand or accept Free software and they are kicking a dead horse again. As for the latter, he continues to show his disdain or hatred for Linux on the desktop (another new example) and even for Richard Stallman (he has done this for years).

Addendum: Aside from previous coverage of this closure [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9], see what Sam Dean writes: “Did Linspire sell to Xandros out of frustration with trying to promote desktop Linux?” He points to this article. It was either that or closing down then. Here is why Xandros will merely inherit Linspire’s problems (too negatives don’t make a positive).

The Xandros OS is a horrible show of what Linux could do, it actually makes peopel turn away and choose the nicer-looking XP, even though everyone knows Linux could look and perform much better. Putting this aside, I think that a merged distro would be in order to challenge the other major distributions and finally secure a good place for Xandros + Linspire in the top 5. Is it doable? I don’t know. But if they don’t do something real fast, the others are going to run them over and everybody will forget Xandros or Linspire ever existed…

For almost a year, the fate of Linspire has been gloomy. CNR is GPL-licensed, so the passing of assets will mean almost nothing. In reality, it’s almost as though the president shut down and made it look nicer (the ‘takeover’ spin).

“Linspire was a patent deal nuisance just like Xandros and it loses access to GPLv3-ed software (no grandfathering).”Linspire was a patent deal nuisance just like Xandros and it loses access to GPLv3-ed software (no grandfathering). None of these two will be missed and, over time, Novell becomes more of a Microsoft subsidiary whose role is to stomp on players like Ubuntu, Mandriva, and Red Hat. They do this using paid-for protocols, virtualisation, partners like SAP, and FUD. We’ve covered this before.

Avoid all distributions that play the software patents game with Microsoft, namely: Novell, Turbolinux, and Xandros. On top of that, avoid gadgets from LG, Samsung, and Fuji Xerox.

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