Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft, Novell, Mono and the More Expensive GNU

"The core of this trial is consumer choice and the premise is that consumers ought to make that decision, not Microsoft. Microsoft’s argument that says Java would have died anyway is a little bit like saying if somebody shoots you they can defend [themselves] by saying you have cancer."

--David Boies, lead trial attorney at the DOJ



Microsoft now sells Windows for as little as $18 apiece. It's not sustainable. It's because of GNU/Linux, which Microsoft considers its #1 threat. The company can try to pretend that this is not an issue, but occasionally it frankly admits it all. Margin erosion can be tolerated more than an actualising risk of GNU/Linux gaining a foothold and a critical mass.



Methods for slowing down GNU/Linux adoption cannot rely on price. GNU/Linux is just too affordable and Microsoft's business model is not prepared to adjust to it. FUD tactics, interferences and the SCOs of our time were attempted before, but it never works out. In some cases, it backfires.

As last reported a day ago, Microsoft continues trying cheap (or gratis) against free (or libre). It's an old an failing strategy and Matt Asay has just explained why.

Microsoft tries to battle free with cheap. It won't work



[...]

Crappy but cheap? It isn't going to stop open source. Open source wins, in part, because it's cheap, but anyone that has run Linux, Apache, Zimbra, etc. knows that there is plenty of open source that wins because it is awesome...and just happens to be cheap as an added benefit.


Microsoft knows that GNU/Linux and Free software are brilliant. It uses them to get work done. So Microsoft, as baffled as its latest filings reveal, might try something else. What if it managed to make its competition more expensive? That's just what the Novell deal is about (among a few other things).

The Mono/vell unrest is due to the fact that Microsoft is no true friend. It views open source not as a friend but as a thief. Here are some more new articles that have not been cited yet:

  1. Open Source: A 'Growing Challenge' to Microsoft


  2. Microsoft Fears The Open Sou[r]ce Penguin


  3. Did the bad cop gremlins get at Microsoft’s annual report?


And here is a new article that stands out: Microsoft accuses open source programs of theft

Microsoft accuses open source programs of theft



Software producer Microsoft has noted in its annual report that its business model is being threatened by open source software after it claimed that many vendors have stolen its intellectual property, it has been reported.


Microsoft does not like to compete based on price. Throwing accusation seems easier, albeit impulsive and baseless. It's a poor long-term strategy

Microsoft is likely to try subjugate GNU/Linux users. Novell was merely a first stop and plans for the Silverlight-powered desktop are just a trap, which seems very unwelcome based on Slashdot's feedback and some of the comments here.

Our reader Vexorian has just left a good comment in Slashdot (pointed out by Groklaw). Pamela Jones also points to this old page, adding: "Written in 2004. Anything changed since?"

One person has already published Mononono. What is Mononono? Here you have it.

Mononono



Description

Introduces an intentional conflict with Mono packages



By creating an intentional conflict with mono packages, this package can be installed to prevent Mono from being installed (or at least force you to address the conflict)



Conflicting files/packages



At the end of the day, in order to effectively and broadly reject Mono, its source needs to be convinced to change direction. That would be Novell, which sponsors Mono projects such as Banshee.

Already, as many of us know, Microsoft sacrifices margins to ensure the crippling of GNU/Linux laptops (last mentioned yesterday). On top of this, assuming one buys SLED, there is a software patents fee, which means that people who buy GNU/Linux actually pay Microsoft. And it's not getting any better based on this new press release.

Lenovo to Present More Linux-pre-loaded Laptops



[..]

Lenovo was reported to plan to launch a full array of laptops pre-loading Novell's Linux operating system, to provide wider product options for consumers to choose from, according to sources.


"Wider product options," it says. Really? It's just Microsoft Windows or Microsoft Linux. Great choice, eh? Microsoft is paid either way. As stated here a month and a half ago, Lenovo stopped offering those cheaper FreeDOS (or no-O/S) laptops, so Microsoft tax need be paid no matter what O/S you choose now. For those who think that Novell and Microsoft are separable, just watch this new press release from Novell.

With expanded platform support for Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008, this latest release extends Novell's leadership in identity-based, cross-platform system management. ZENworks Configuration Management SP1 helps customers efficiently manage both medium and large scale enterprise IT environments by offering streamlined operations, greater flexibility, better compliance and increased performance.


Novell and Windows: so happy together. Take II.

Jim Allchin on Novell

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