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How Microsoft (with Novell) Subverts the Virtualisation Space to Harm Red Hat

Microsoft's bizarre relationship with VMware is no news and given the role of EMC in this relationship, it's clear that so-called 'moles' are driving the affair. According to the latest news, EMC and Microsoft are growing even closer. Much closer.



EMC, Microsoft team for share of IT budgets



[...]

While tech spending has not evaporated, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said on Tuesday that most companies have mandated that their IT departments cut a significant percentage from their budgets.

"To save 5 (percent) to 10 percent, you have to save a little bit on a lot of things," Ballmer told CNET News on Tuesday, in a joint interview with EMC CEO Joe Tucci, "It's not like there's nothing new getting done. Some new projects are getting killed. There's pressure on vendors to reduce prices."


For the uninitiated, here is some background reading:



As The Inquirer puts it, "Microsoft divides IT budgets with EMC." By a sort of inference, Microsoft is now sharing money with VMware as well. VMware is managed by former Microsoft employees, some of whom have a criminal past that Microsoft paid a lot of money to hide.

This week's news speaks a lot about an open source product from VMware, but almost nobody pays attention to the fact that VMware is now promoting Microsoft's pet GNU/Linux distribution, which comes at a cost (of software patents). In other words, the 'new' VMware (under Microsoft's management) already helps demote distributions and vendors that don't sell out to Microsoft, very much like Hyper-V does [1, 2].

We’ll note here that prominent among VMware View Open Client’s features is a Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Thin Client Add-On RPM package and command line interface.


But what about Red Hat?

Isn't Red Hat the leading GNU/Linux distribution?

It sure seems as though Paul Maritz came from Microsoft to scoop up some former Microsoft colleagues with Tucci's endorsement (Tucci became Microsoft's partner of the year last year). Now he's working from inside VMware to put a software patents 'price tag' on GNU/Linux. Wasn't that predictable? Microsoft pried VMware from the hands of GNU/Linux. It is using its money and its partners to rob parts of the industry of GNU/Linux and impose Microsoft's rules. Remember XenSource too. Here is a new article about it.

If Microsoft Loved Open Source, Who Would It Buy?



[...]

Could Microsoft take its cash reserves and buy an open source company? Why not? Who expected Oracle and Citrix Systems to become such big investors in open source. Citrix' purchase of XenSource sure has worked out--for Microsoft, in my opinion. And that example might seed a desire for more open source code in Microsoft's camp.

[...]

"[Y]ou have to save a little bit on a lot of things," Ballmer told CNET News on Tuesday, in a joint interview with EMC CEO Joe Tucci, "It's not like there's nothing new getting done. Some new projects are getting killed. There's pressure on vendors to reduce prices."


For background about XenSource and Microsoft, start here. What Microsoft and its super-close partner did there eventually pressured Red Hat into buying KVM (with its parent company) and maintaining its own virtualisation solution, which is laborious and cumbersome.

As Matt Asay correctly pointed out a couple of days ago, this is Microsoft's and Novell's war on Red Hat (and any GNU/Linux distribution that does not pay for mythical software patents).

Going forward, I believe that Red Hat must expand its solution offerings if it wants to take market share from Microsoft. The Unix-to-Linux "low hanging fruit" won't last forever. When it's gone, the biggest barrier to Red Hat's continued growth will be Microsoft. Unless Red Hat starts acting now to build up a holistic response to Microsoft's value proposition, including the desktop, Red Hat will eventually struggle to grow.


The piece above contains a dramatic exaggeration because we keep seeing businesses that dump Windows for Red Hat, but either way, it's clear that Novell and Microsoft are both attacking any distribution which is not a vassal to software patents, Microsoft and its ecosystem. Therefore, Novell and SLE* must be stopped.

Steve Ballmer license
Image from Wikimedia

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