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Selected Responses to Microsoft's GPLv3 Snobbery

The press did not exactly buy Microsoft's latest arguments. In fact, it only quoted or repeated those arguments (sometimes verbatim), which were later criticised and put to shame, even by Microsoft Watchers. Here are some examples:

Mary Jo Foley: Are Microsoft’s patent lawyers really this dumb?

Microsoft Watch: Say It Ain't So

Bob Sutor: Microsoft and GPL v3

I thought the line [from Microsoft]
As always, Microsoft remains committed to working with the open source software community to help improve interoperability for customers working in mixed source environments and deliver IP assurance.
was pretty funny. In what sense of “always” do they mean? Was this true when free and open source was a “cancer” done by “communists”,


ITWire: Microsoft's latest: blame Oprah Winfrey

And so is Microsoft. In grandiose fashion, the software behemoth has declared that it is not a party to the GPLv3 and that none of its actions "are to be misintepreted as accepting status as a contracting party of GPLv3 or assuming any legal obligations under such license." I can hear the laughter ringing out.

To use an American phrase, get real.


Here is an article that explains why and how Novell's customers are hurt.

Customers that buy Linux through Microsoft's Novell alliance program will receive products and services only for open source software covered by GPLv2.


Novell's response is therefore a tad mystifying. Businesses and governments should really know better and never do business with Novell, especially if Linux coupons are bought in a very questionable way from Novell's sworn rival, Microsoft. Always remember what Microsoft's Jim Allchin said.

"We need to slaughter Novell before they get stronger... If you're going to kill someone, there isn't much reason to get all worked up about it and angry. You just pull the trigger. Any discussions beforehand are a waste of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger."


Open Sources says more about Microsoft's plan.

Now, one may wish to argue that Microsoft is only looking to be rightfully compensated by those using clever Microsoft inventions. I, for one, think that position is naïve. I firmly believe that Microsoft’s intellectual business division is executing a well-thought out plan – monetize where possible (Novell), implicitly threaten where monetization is not possible and sow enough uncertainty to slow down those who don’t acquiesce, directly or indirectly, to Microsoft’s licensing pressure.


This needs to have become common knowledge. It's truly as simple as this.

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