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Is Novell is Trying to 'Hijack' OpenOffice.org from Sun Microsystems for Competitive Reasons Alone?

As the argument about OpenOffice.org evolves and developers, Novell is beginning to have its true colours shown. It used to put the blame on Sun Microsystems for lack of openness, but looking at the other side of the fence, it seems like Novell has its own financial agenda as a considerable part of the equation. Sun's Simon Phipps, whose opinion I can trust, has this to say:

It's a shame Michael [Meeks] has chosen now - a turning point in OpenOffice.org and a moment when Sun has radically improved the SCA in response to broad feedback from many communities - as a time to mount a fresh challenge to Sun that by implication also harms OpenOffice.org. And when you distill out all the details, that's what this turns out to be even by Michael's admission - a competitive issue, not a community one.


It therefore appears as though Novell has its own plans and alternative agenda for OpenOffice.org, which is not surprising given things we have seen. The founder of Linux Questions has just posted some words in defense of Sun.

I forget sometimes how difficult a position Sun has put themselves in after years of being schizo about Open Source. For the last couple of years they have done some truly awesome things, yet they continue to take a beating in the community. I wonder how long it is until some will think they have paid their dues.


The complex relationship between IBM, Microsoft, Novell, and Sun continues to baffle. They want to collaborate, but they compete and exchange favours and/or money at the same time. Can standards be established in this way? Which side would a standard then serve? And most importantly -- how does the innocent customer fit into this picture? Companies wants money. Ordinary people want their data to be accessible and easy to interchange. They also want to have choice between platforms and applications so a proprietary/de facto status-quo is not acceptable. It raises price and reduces quality.

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