Bonum Certa Men Certa

Less OpenSUSE, More Microsoft Software at Novell

Nomo



Summary: Microsoft focus at Novell is revisited now that SaX2 is put aside and FOSDEM gives Mono a room

Egbert Eich has announced that a S.u.S.E. selling point, SaX2, is to hit the binary graveyard. This is sad because back in 2004 or 2005 I contacted its creator with a suggestion. SaX2 was a fantastic tool at the time and other GNU/Linux distributions lacked it. So where is OpenSUSE heading when it come to added value? For all it seems, Novell spends a lot of resources making GNU/Linux more like Microsoft (beyond Windows).



Now here is a curious sight. We previously wrote about Novell bias at FOSDEM [1, 2, 3] (Novell is a major FOSDEM sponsor) and in the next FOSDEM there will also be a special room for the Mono crowd. Why do they need a separate room? It only comes to show how they blend (or hardly blend) with the rest of the GNU/Linux development community. Here are the details:

I am very pleased to announce that in 2010, for the first time ever, we will have a Mono developer room at FOSDEM. This room is organized by Stephane and me, with the kind input of Andreia and many others.


This idea of separation into "Mono" and "non-Mono" is rather familiar because of Ubuntu's "free speech zones" (mentioned here). The short story is that Ubuntu set aside complaints about Mono and diverted these to a separate forum. This type of division receives endorsement from Novell's de Icaza of Microsoft's CodePlex Foundation. Maybe they can use their special room to discuss the "superb" OOXML, have a session on the joys of .NET, and end with some "drooling" over Silverlight [1, 2].

Interestingly enough, Mono is holding joint events with Microsoft, e.g. MonoSpace [1, 2, 3, 4]. This type of fusion leads to tension or confusion. It also leads to a fragmentation in direction.

As an aside, the GNU/Linux-hostile Forrester (Microsoft paid them for anti-Linux [1, 2]) still has a special blog in ZDNet, which is neither particularly surprising nor new. We complained about messages that came from there before and a couple of days ago Forrester's James Staten made this improper comparison:

To address the technical side, VMware said it will take a three-way partnership between it, AMD, and Intel jointly testing, qualifying, and then supporting this solution. Such a partnership is certainly feasible; it would be similar to the joint integration efforts by Microsoft and Novell to ensure Linux and Windows integration.


The key difference is that Novell and Microsoft built a partnership all around software patents and exclusion of competitors using those patents. This is not at all the case when it comes to hypervisors and chipmakers.

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