Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Novell Danger (to Free Software) Becomes More Widely Recognised

Occasionally it seems useful to show that we are not along when it comes to criticising Novell. There is this tendency -- wishful thinking for some -- to say that this Web site is biased against Novell as a matter of principle and blind goals, as opposed to a well-calculated rationale. But this is totally untrue. While Novell does contribute to many projects and is rightly credited for it, the company operates upon selfish interests at the end. Novell is far from a Free software company [1, 2, 3 5]. It's a lot more like Microsoft.



Have a look at this new press release.

Novell(R) announced today it is the first Linux* vendor to appear on the U.S. Department of Defense Unified Capabilities Approved Products List (APL), as SUSE(R) Linux Enterprise Server 10 Service Pack 2 (SP2) has received the Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) Special Interoperability Certification from the department's Defense Information System Agency. With this certification, Novell customers, including government agencies, can rely on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server to support present and future networking standards, offering peace of mind for long-term use.

The APL list is expected to become a Department of Defense and U.S. federal government equipment purchase requirement.


Referring to this portion of the text, Groklaw opines: "This little nugget clariifies for me the sudden Microsoft interest in interoperability and the whole Microsoft-Novell deal." Earning of a place inside the US government, which traditionally moves some of its operations to Red Hat, is what Microsoft might wish to influence here. It wishes to tax for the use of GNU/Linux and potentially run it under (or alongside) Windows. It's all about control.

“In many ways, Novell became Microsoft's 'GPL factory', which produces whatever 'poison' (legal obligations) or 'features' (Windows/Office/.NET hooks) Microsoft wants its competition to contain and bring upstream.”The criticism above is a tad subtle. Novell played an important role in squashing the action brought against Linux by SCO, so it would be hard for Groklaw to be overly critical of Novell, especially amid those final stages of the trial.

Nevertheless, it seems clear that Novell's role in damaging Free software (using software patents) is precisely what the company might do. Mono, Moonlight, OOXML and some other hostile technologies appear to be among the key outputs of Novell.

The export of such unnecessary software seems to only promote Microsoft's agenda. In many ways, Novell became Microsoft's 'GPL factory', which produces whatever 'poison' (legal obligations) or 'features' (Windows/Office/.NET hooks) Microsoft wants its competition to contain and bring upstream.

Even Matt Hartley, who obviously likes Linspire and Xandros, it finally taking this small shot at Novell: [emphasis is ours]

What About Red Hat, Novell and Canonical? On the distribution development side of things, all three of these companies (excluding Novell's selling out to Redmond), are on the right path with their own visions for desktop Linux.


BoycottNovell is not the only critic of Novell. It just happens to be a site whose name reflects on these convictions and biases.

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