Bonum Certa Men Certa

Is Novell Saving Microsoft from Europe's Antitrust Wrath...?

...while at the same time eliminating any changes of interoperability with GNU/Linux?

As Shane predicted in 2006 (just weeks after the deal), Microsoft uses Novell as an excuse and a bargaining card for exemptions and mercy from the European Commission. The ruling will come this Monday and Microsoft already sings the tune about his deals with Sun Microsystems and Novell.

Next week's European antitrust ruling against Microsoft Corp is a legacy of its past behavior, but competitors say the company's current strategy is a sign of history repeating itself.

[...]

"While there are some companies who will use the press and government processes to advance their interests and invoke their view of competition law, I think we are working quite well with most ... firms," said Dave Heiner, Microsoft deputy general counsel who leads the company's compliance efforts.

He highlighted the growing ties between his company and old adversaries such as Novell Inc in business software and with Sun Microsystems, which this week said it planned to more fully embrace Windows to run its own computers.


So here you have it. Illustrated above is the impact of Novell's deal and its ability to make the abuses linger on. Companies like Red Hat are being denied open access to documentation about key protocols. Meanwhile, Novell pays for licenses, engages in exclusionary deals, and lends its hand to a so-called 'interoperability' lab (Novell interoperability, not Linux interoperability). Microsoft uses all of this as evidence that it has changed its ways while others clearly beg to differ. From yesterday's news:

Extension of Microsoft Antitrust Pact Requested

[...]

Before these parties and Microsoft respond, though, they will have a benchmark to guide them: The European Union will announce its Microsoft antitrust decision on Monday.


"Microsoft crashed the party and now receives an award for it."There is clearly a cascading effect here. The article cited above is about America, not Europe.

Novell makes it hard for the Commission to argue that Microsoft excludes competitors while it continues with its abuses (look no further than the recent OOXML fiasco). As such, even the attitude in America and the regulatory eye there might go missing.

Microsoft crashed the party and now receives an award for it. It sabotages any prospects of fair competition with Linux (other than Novell) while at the same time it earns praises for playing nice with Linux (never mind if it's only Novell).

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