Bonum Certa Men Certa

Why is Linux.com Promoting Microsoft/Novell's Fork of OpenOffice.org?

Microsoft must be pleased with Novell's disruption

Background



For Microsoft to provoke or to cause infighting is not something new [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. As the father of MINIX put it at the time (just a couple of years ago):

“A couple of years ago this guy called Ken Brown wrote a book saying that Linus stole Linux from me... It later came out that Microsoft had paid him to do this...”

--Andrew S Tanenbaum



As Microsoft's top secret presentation reveals:

“Gathering intelligence on enemy activities is critical to the success of the Slog. We need to know who their allies are and what differences exist between them and their allies (there are always sources of tension between allies), so that we can find ways to split ‘em apart. Reading the trade press, lurking on newsgroups, attending conferences, and (above all) talking to ISVs is essential to gathering this intelligence.”

The emphasis in red is ours. This is from Microsoft's own mouth (in obligatory training seminars).

Promoting by Demotion



We turn our attention to Novell's fork [1, 2, 3, 4] of a Sun Microsystems crown jewel, OpenOffice.org. It's bad enough that Novell does this to incorporate Java-hostile, Microsoft-serving technologies like Mono into its fork, but the press that accompanies this merely ridicules OpenOffice.org, thus helping Novell and Microsoft.

Discs and fork
Go-OO: a fork is sometimes a pitchfork



Worth taking a glance at is this new Linux.com article about Go-OO (we don't trust Linux.com too much). It contains what seems like a promotional pitch. Not so long ago, Linux.com promoted the proprietary SoftMaker by dismissing OpenOffice.org as well.

Go-OO includes enhancements and functions that haven't been accepted by Sun, and that may never be, because of licensing, business, or other reasons.


Low blow there.

Here is the first comment:

Since it's Novell behind this move, I wonder if this is really an improvement or an attempt to get mono code integrated into OO.o If so, no one with a functioning brain is wise to touch it. I don't have much respect for Sun, but even less for the games Novell is playing on MS' behalf.


Here is another comment among very many (they created some sort of a Sun/Novell flamewar):

The go-ooo fork of OpenOffice.org is very much a bleeding edge developers' version, which has not been through the full QA process run by the OpenOffice.org folks. Reporting go-ooo bugs is a good way of winding up people on the genuine OpenOffice.org support forums :-)

As has been stated above, open-source purists might also worry about go-ooo's origins in Novell, with their close links to Microsoft (and getting closer every day).

I'm amazed why so many otherwise sane distros continue to ship go-ooo in preference to genuine OpenOffice.org.


"This is a classic Microsoft action. Divide your enemies (not that I'd call Novell an enemy to Microsoft). It divides the community," says one of our readers. "Microsoft would be happy with something that echoes the Unix wars."

Instead of OpenOffice.org fighting Microsoft Office, part of what remains here is Novell fighting Sun and OpenOffice.org. In the same vein, it has been said that Novell is now targeting Red Hat instead of Windows.

For what it's worth, Boycott Novell never intends to aggravate or to divide. It points out areas where the friction exists. It's companies (i.e. managers) that instruct programmers who do the damage for a paycheck. Why has Novell decided to focus on .NET, for example? They routinely use money and favouritism to hurt Freedom.

Comments

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