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Novell Wants to Bring Microsoft, Moonlight, and Mono to Linux Phones (Android)

Mono headphones



Summary: Microsoft's patent-encumbered 'gifts' to GNU/Linux are being pushed into devices with Novell's help

ON many occasions before (e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]) we've warned that Microsoft's MVP Miguel de Icaza aspires to put Microsoft's API right inside Google's universe, which would have devastating effects because of control and because of software patents.



“If Novell manages to 'poison' its competitors' products some more, then it can market itself based on fear, not based on merit.”News has just arrived suggesting that Novell takes the next step by putting more than just Mono in phones. This is a bad idea particularly after Apple's lawsuit [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], which we will return to in the next post. Novell's 'added value' when it comes to GNU/Linux are products like Mono and Moonlight because Novell has exclusive rights to them, not just assigned copyrights. If Novell manages to 'poison' its competitors' products some more, then it can market itself based on fear, not based on merit. Novell's executives have already made it abundantly clear that this is at least one of their strategies. Among the 'poisoned' products we already have Ubuntu, with new Mono dependencies in version 10.04 [1, 2, 3] and Ubuntu sites that carry on promoting Mono software (even this week).

We have become accustomed to seeing promotion of Mono, Microsoft and Novell from David Worthington, who had some personal encounters with this pair of companies [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. It seems like they gave him a scoop (his report was first) regarding a new Microsoft/Novell product/project, about which he published in the Technologizer (the Technologizer is a Microsoft boosting Web site to a great extent [1, 2] and it was Worthington who helped promote an article that lied about Microsoft's history last week). Anyway, here is his report that appeared first in the news (chronologically). He seems to have been informed about this in advance:

On Monday, Novell will demonstrate new technology that will allow Microsoft Xbox 360 games to be translated into iPhone apps. It also has the capability to be used to create Android games, potentially taking some Xbox games to the mobile masses.

Novell, a Microsoft frenemy, is making it possible for you to play Xbox games on other devices now, while Microsoft, which created the platform, will leave you waiting for Windows Phone 7 handsets, due late this year. For whatever reason, Microsoft has chosen to be less than aggressive in supporting two extremely popular smartphone platforms despite obvious consumer demand.


It was also pushed into IDG News Service, which has some kind of a new arrangement with the Technologizer. Later he promoted this in the SD Times while emphasising Android, not iPhone.

Novell is furthering its strategy of making it possible for .NET applications run on every mobile platform by introducing new tooling for the Android mobile operating system.


IDG's own writers have covered the Android angle as well [1, 2]; so did some other Web sites. Here is an example of inaccurate coverage:

Interestingly enough, Microsoft is working with Novell hand-in-hand and seems to be giving it support where needed. It’s certainly not stopping Novell from moving forward with this project. Both companies have a history of working closely together.


This would only be true if he referred to the past few years (Microsoft paid Novell to become its technical slave). Historically speaking, Microsoft and Novell spent a lot of time fighting in court and distrusting each other. Based on this bit of news from early in the week, Novell carries on losing business to Microsoft, so reasons for distrust persist.

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"Microsoft 'Frenemy' Enables Xbox 360 Games on iPhone," says this short article and another says that "Novell to bring open source Silverlight clone to iPhone" (despite the fact that Silverlight is intended to always be ahead and Moonlight stay behind).

Novell is spreading Silver Lie [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] content through these endeavours because it's beneficial to Microsoft. Novell needs that feeding hand to pay its employees, who decreasingly code for GNU/Linux.

Although Android too is to be 'Microsoftised' by Novell [1, 2, 3], there is time to protest against this because Novell isn't there just yet:

Novell has demonstrated a new way to turn Xbox 360 games into iPhone apps, and there is a chance that Google’s Android will be able to join in on the action too.


Android is already sued by Apple with Microsoft's endorsement (more on that in the next post), so the last thing it needs right now are more reasons for Microsoft to tax the applications layer.

"The patent danger to Mono comes from patents we know Microsoft has, on libraries which are outside the C# spec and thus not covered by any promise not to sue. In effect, Microsoft has designed in boobytraps for us.

"Indeed, every large program implements lots of ideas that are patented. Indeed, there's no way to avoid this danger. But that's no reason to put our head inside Microsoft's jaws."

--Richard Stallman



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