Bonum Certa Men Certa

Mono and Patents, Putting a Price Tag on Linux

Microsoft, through its unprecedented deal with Novell, has been getting closer to the open source community, but perhaps a little too close. Close enough to interfere, that is.

Microsoft employees like Bill Hilf are actually being characterised as "open source advocates" in this latest article, which is rather disturbing given statements he made in the past, particularly with regard to software patents amd the potential (lack thereof, according to him) of Linux on the desktop. Recently, we have observed a similar stance being taken at Novell. Consider questionable moves whereby the Windows API gets a higher priority, with Novell's increasing financial support of it. Also consider the following opinion:

...is Mono's role in the deal that of a hook to make customers write .NET applications because they can be run on Linux - only to find later on that they are armless or legless because of a change in the .NETspecifications, a change which Microsoft decides not to make public?

[...]

And here we have an individual who decides to replicate one of the proprietary company's development environments - for reasons best known to him alone - and keeps telling people that the reason he's doing it is so that he can pull people over from the proprietary company's side to his side!!!


Where does the user end up? The whole system could be 'contaminated' with patented technology that leads to increased cost. Free software might no longer be free, at least in America. Consider the following opinion piece:

Mandriva should become "the European Red Hat" again, as it offers both the freedom of Free, and the commercial offerings of Corporate Server and Corporate Desktop. (The commercial Mandriva versions for the general public are a different issue.)

In the match "Corporate America vs. Corporate Europe", id est "Red Hat and Novell vs. Mandriva and Canonical", I can only hope Europe will win, thus showing to the U.S. Congress that their legislation is hindering the progress.

Too bad SuSE is twofold abused by the "American occupation": once, by being legally restricted in what they can do because of the American ownership; twice, by being part of the "Microsoft alliance" only by a top management decision.


Perhaps it's rather political and even radical (it comes from a prominent blogger), but it does accentuate the issue at hand. It should serve as an alarm bell.

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