05.08.09

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Microsoft Moonlight in the News

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, TomTom at 3:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Monopoly

Summary: Another look at coverage of Mono and Moonlight

AS WE POINTED out early in the week, Microsoft Moonlight is mostly promoted by the Microsoft crowd [1, 2]. This is predictable and consistent with the evidence. Novell just needs to disseminate its DNA inside GNU/Linux and then come along with Microsoft to claim special ownership of it. But who again is Novell with? Well, Novell’s Vice President is again hanging out with Microsoft friends. He also invites others to do the same.

If you are in the Boston area, come join us for these open source festivities at Microsoft NERD center in Cambridge

Microsoft Moonlight continues to receive coverage from Novell sites and also from the rather SUSE-oriented Heise, which did this a couple of times this week. Ryan Paul always covers Moonlight/Mono stuff, so this this time was no exception. But that’s all we could find.

Here is a comment that may have come from a reader of ours, regarding Microsoft Moonlight:

Im sorry but I find you software purity comment to totally miss a point. A huge point that bothers many, many developers but has never been properly addressed by the Novell/Gnome/Mono crew which surprise, surprise is the same people.

This isnt about whether something is free software or not, it is about the fact that Microsoft cannot be trusted as was shown in the Tom Tom case. Having codecs, standards, formats, platforms, languages and so on controlled by one company has lead….well, Im not gonna give you a history lesson, you know the stories.
There is nothing in the Microsoft promise that cant be rescinded and/or sue people later on. And then what?

You have to remember that Novell signed a deal with Microsoft and that THEIR developers/users are covered by the extortion deal. You remember it right? Its the one where Redmond claims that Linux steals from Microsoft but if you sign here, they will let you slide.
This deal doesnt cover other distros (which is very dangerous since distros really use the same software) and Microsoft is very clear about the legal dangers facing those who dont pay the extortion.

Listen to Ballmer’s words about how Red Hat users (that’s me!) owe Microsoft money because, you know, Linux has stolen from them. Notice that he mentions that Novell is ‘the legit’ ones since they have paid the extortion deal.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5B0GTYfPoMo

Having worked about a bit on different projects that use Samba, I know fully well the steps Allison, Tridge and the rest of the people on taht project have to go through to be able to see Microsoft (court ordered) specs and not taint the project later on. Novell employees dont do that because THEY are protected. ( and dont bring up the joke that is the �Non-Compensated Individual Hobbyist Developer� clause of that deal or the fact that the MS-PL license cant be used in our GPLed projects)
As a Red Hat user and developer, which protection do I have and what dangers to GPLed projects do I bring by using a technology that it tainted (mediocre at best. C##? Really?)?

Microsoft’s word?
Novell’s word?

This isnt an idealogical problem many developers are having but a practical one. By pushing those questions as a problem of ‘purity’, you are missing the big picture trying to ghettoize it as simple ‘zealots’.

And yes, you are right. Microsoft Moonlight (as they call it Ive seen) will always be one step behind.
But its not about the user, it never has been.
Its about Microsoft getting free software developers coming over and working on a platform they control.
Microsoft doenst mind if every open source project would work on their platform because they will have all the power then. Just like they used to before that finnish guy mucked it all up (and let’s not forget that bearded hippie and his ‘cancerous’ license).

We think we know who is bringing Mono into Ubuntu due to pressure from the usual suspects (Banshee is part of a disturbing trend). It’s time to get rid of Mono. As Richard Stallman told me an hour ago, “the TomTom case is likely to hasten the abandonment of FAT format, which is a good thing.” Mono is hardly any different. Microsoft may be giving it time to get absorbed.

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