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Microsoft's Path of LAMP Destruction: From Novell to Apache (the L to the A)

Richard Stallman young
Richard Stallman (younger days)



"Proprietary software divides the users and keeps them helpless, and that is wrong."

--Richard Stallman



Summary: Novell is left vulnerable by Microsoft while Microsoft proceeds to similar strategies further up the (G)LAMP stack

WHILST Ron Hovsepian receives his huge bonus [1, 2, 3, 4] and goes on luxurious vacations, "the ship is sinking," one of Novell's VARs told me about 3 weeks ago.



Novell can deny this all that it wants. The company can also try to come up with explanations to shed light on its abandonment of SUSE workforce, but it won't change the fact that Novell looks for love in the wrong places (e.g. Microsoft, Citrix, software patents, .NET, Silverlight [1, 2]). Well, it shows. As Ed Moltzen points out two weeks after this quarter's financial results came, Novell is unable to attract big businesses, whereas Red Hat is doing just fine.

So Novell, one of the biggest Linux distributors in t5673he world, and Microsoft, one of the biggest companies in world history, couldn't find a single large customer on Planet Earth to buy into Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Server software.

Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian has stepped up and, rather than point fingers at Microsoft for that performance, put the blame on his company and its inability to strengthen its reseller channel. In a conference call with financial analysts last month, he said ". . . we don't have the partner ecosystem to the level of performance that we needed it to be." Novell, not Microsoft, is responsible for goosing its own market, Hovsepian said.


There are lots of comments in Slashdot. Bruce Perens writes sarcastically: "OK, cue the violins! Now, all of you at once!"

Perens was never ever appreciative of this deal with Microsoft because he knows how Microsoft operates and he understands the SCO saga very profoundly. Speaking of Perens, some days ago he said that Microsoft uses Novell as a "mouthpiece", probably in order to enter the FOSS world and snatch people to enrich Windows and embrace Microsoft technologies like .NET. He also publicly criticised Apache's willingness to collaborate with Microsoft. Glyn Moody, whose analysis often intersects with ours, is already seeing (and warning) that Microsoft is trying to isolate GNU/Linux from Apache (and other parts of the Free software stack).

This has been going on for a while, and is part of a larger move by Microsoft to weaken the foundations of open source - especially GNU/Linux - on the pretext that they are simply porting some of the top layers to its own stack. But the net result is that it diminishes the support for GNU/Linux, and makes those upper-level apps more dependent on Microsoft's good graces. The plan is clearly to sort out GNU/Linux first, before moving on up the stack.

It's clever, and exactly the sort of thing I would expect from the cunning people at Microsoft. That I understand; what I don't get is why these LAMP hackers are happy to cut off the branch they sit on by aiding and abetting Microsoft in its plans? Can't they see what's being done to their LAMP?


Don Marti disagrees with this assertion, but I personally do not. This was Microsoft's plan with projects like Apache since the very beginning of such relationships [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17].

Dog with a sign

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