Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft and Novell Love Microsoft's Self-serving Linux Patch (Updated)

"[The partnership with Microsoft is] going very well insofar as we originally agreed to co-operate on three distinct projects and now we’re working on nine projects and there’s a good list of 19 other projects that we plan to co-operate on."

--Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO



Summary: Affinity for Microsoft code still comes from the Microsoft faithful for the most part

YESTERDAY we gave a sample as large as we could gather of the coverage regarding Microsoft's patch. We showed without great effort that Microsoft had turned this into a public relations event (manufactured self-congratulatory interviews, press release, correspondence accompanied by a lot of publicity). Some of the loudest supporters were the Microsoft-sympathetic bloggers and journalists, based on empirical evidence alone. In addition, one notable supporter from Linux was Greg Kroah-Hartman. Yes, he praised it, but many people forget that he is a Novell employee (who also bashes Ubuntu).



Novell's public relations people are now raving about Microsoft's patch that serves Windows.

Novell played a major role in making this happen. Novell Fellow Greg Kroah-Hartman, who leads the Linux Kernel Device Driver project, approached Microsoft and helped guide them though the submission process.


OpenSUSE's community manager (and Novell employee) pretty much sings the same tune.

The long and short of it, though, is that Microsoft has contributed roughly 20,000 lines of code to the Linux kernel related to their Hyper-V drivers.


As we showed yesterday, many in the Linux sphere were skeptical because they realise that Microsoft contributes a patch for Microsoft and for Windows, not for Linux. But the Microsoft-friendly press (Beta News) tries to specifically dismiss all those critics of what Microsoft did for self gain. It's an almost-collective dismissal.

The most vivid headline on yesterday's news that Microsoft is releasing various Linux kernel modules under the GNU Public License may not have been the most accurate. That would be InfoWorld's "Linux slips into Microsoft's warm, deadly embrace," which cast an agreeable horror-movie glow over the proceedings.

Fun stuff, but despite Randall C. Kennedy's fine and impassioned argument that this is all an embrace-and-extend plot to allow Hyper-V to feast on the blood of the open-source movement, that's probably not where things are heading.


Critics beg to differ and they provided detailed explanations.

Microsoft's best friend, Paul Thurrott, has come up with the headline "Microsoft Enlightens Linux". If Microsoft folks love this patch, it usually means that it is bad for GNU/Linux, which Microsoft repeatedly labels its #1 rival. According to Microsoft, there is also an announcement to come from Red Hat in coming weeks. No specifics can be given.

Update: as further evidence of Novell's role and encouragement, see the following new articles.

Linux driver chief went looking for Microsoft

The Linux driver project team, a part of the Linux kernel development group, is known for pursuing companies and asking them if they want their drivers included in the kernel, according to Greg Kroah-Hartman, the Linux driver project lead and a Novell fellow.

Another kernel community member noticed the [Microsoft] drivers and pointed them out to me," he said. "Through the contacts I have at Novell and through the Microsoft/Novell interoperability agreement, I contacted Microsoft and worked out the details."


Microsoft Releases 20,000 Lines of Linux Code

In a statement, Novell said: "As a leading Linux solutions provider and an active player in the Linux community, Novell was influential in bringing this about and has worked closely with Microsoft to make this a reality. Under the direction of Novell Fellow Greg Kroah-Hartman, who leads the Linux Kernel Device Driver project, Novell proactively engaged with Microsoft to provide valuable guidance and feedback to the Open Source Technology Center, which enabled the team to contribute the code in a way that was in line with community processes."


● Novell CTO: Microsoft Releases GPL Code to the Community

I’m proud of Novell’s role in this. I’m proud that our partnership brought clarity on the technical optimization need. I’m proud of the personal role played by Novell Fellow Greg Kroah-Hartman and the Linux driver project.


Virtualization, cloud underlie Microsoft's Linux kernel submission

And the vendor operates a Linux/Windows integration lab with partner Novell.

[...]

The driver code that Microsoft open sourced and submitted to the Linux kernel was first developed and certified specifically for Novell's Suse Linux and Red Hat Linux.


With Microsoft code dump Novell tries to make nice

Microsoft’s release of 20,000 lines of Linux drivers, under the GPL, may be a shocker to headline writers, but it’s actually smart business.

This is about Novell.


There are comments about Novell's relation to this, such as: "In the meantime, it's 'business as usual' for Novell."

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