Microsoft Linux on a Short Leash

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OpenSUSE at 6:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Little dog

Summary: Quick SUSE and Tuxera updates

OPENSUSE plans a release in the summer because “OpenSUSE 12.1 was released last November”. Releases are typically 8 months apart (it used to be 6 until a few years ago). 11.3 is soon to be neglected, which leaves this distribution in state much worse off than Debian or Ubuntu (LTS). The project focuses on the wrong things while users seek something that can work reliably over time. We often hear that OpenSUSE works beautifully once installed, but the system is prone to breakage over time. Unless that changes, OpenSUSE will never regain that appeal is had before the Novell/Microsoft deal. Under Attachmate leadership, it is unlikely the this project will get a boost. In fact, Attachmate shows no signs of health. Webroot picks a former Attachmate executive according to this press release:

Prior to Symantec, Giesbrecht held executive positions at Attachmate Europe, Lotus Development and Digital Research, where he grew the operation to be the company’s most profitable subsidiary. He has also held a number of leadership positions in the information technology and semiconductor industry at Rank Xerox, Mohawk Data Science, Teradyne and LTX.

Apart from that and some bits of technical posts about OpenSUSE [1, 2, 3, 4] we can find Tuxera promotion (Microsoft software and tax on Linux) at Phoronix. Fortunately, there is no sign of this Trojan horse getting much momentum on Linux and SUSE too is dying up, leaving Linux untaxed by Microsoft.

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  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    January 23, 2012 at 7:14 am


    “the system is prone to breakage over time” sounds like M$ style bit-rot. No thanks.

  2. Michael said,

    January 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm


    OpenSUSE works beautifully once installed, but the system is prone to breakage over time.

    What do they do differently than other distros to cause this… or are you saying this is the norm for desktop Linux?

  3. mcinsand said,

    January 23, 2012 at 6:03 pm


    Not a surprise. The parent Novell sold out, the good developers abandoned SUSE for distros that are actually backed with a commitment to FOSS principles, and performance dropped. No matter how much press gets bought trying to claim otherwise, SUSE is a withering branch. When we can choose from so many clean choices, why would anyone go with SUSE?

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Many companies and home users choose SUSE because they’re German.

  4. mcinsand said,

    January 23, 2012 at 10:28 pm


    I suspect a large fraction of the SUSE population remains only because of inertia. A good friend of mine still uses SUSE, but only because it’s what her dad knows, and he is still her ‘sysadmin.’ It’s a dying branch.

    And, is it me, or has BSD been following the same path? I kept up with it for years, but then it stopped keeping up with me. Linux’ licensing model is better-suited to drive innovation; the GPL stipulates that new commercialized ideas are reinvested in the community. BSD, on the other hand, has no such guarantee, and companies can take without giving anything back. Apple does this, and MS did this, too, before Redmond could figure out how to handle networking protocols. So, as with SUSE, would a good developer rather invest in something thriving and with a vibrant future? The GPL guarantees this, while the BSD license is more relaxed.

    Software, even free software, isn’t truly free, but there are different business models for FOSS as opposed to walled gardens. The walled garden approach worked much better a decade or so ago, when software projects were still relatively small. Back then, single companies could still handle something like a complete operating system. Business suites are getting to be unmanageable now, as we can see from the newest MS-Office. Anyway, back then, the cash for license model worked, because the single company could handle it, and investment was a lot less complicated. Now, if you want a really thriving, developing, innovative system, you can’t go to Apple or MS, so you have to go with a Linux or even a BSD… but Linux has the edge. Again, it isn’t free, but the investment model is different. For those that commercialize, they pay for their GPL-licensed software by releasing new developments to the community. For those of us that aren’t commercialized, we do carry a cost of knowing that we will be required to release new developments if we do come up with something for commercialization. That’s a bargain, either way. As someone that has used MS, Apple, Linux, and BSD, I won’t go back to reduced innovation, choice, performance, and reliability. Apple and MS may have the edge on market thuggery, but they are technically too far behind to bother with.

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