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Red Hat's Microsoft Collaboration Without Software Patents; Forrester Bribed by Microsoft and Novell to Help Promote Linux Patent Deals

“Analysts sell out - that’s their business model…”

--Microsoft, internal document [PDF]



Red Hat-Microsoft page



Summary: Red Hat still insists on not paying Microsoft anything for distribution of GNU/Linux; Novell and Microsoft use Forrester as their advertisers in suits

LAST YEAR we wrote about the agreement between Red Hat and Microsoft. It wasn't as sinister as it may sound and we provided explanations in:

  1. Novell the Biggest Loser in New Red Hat-Microsoft Virtual Agreement
  2. Red Hat-Microsoft Agreement Not Malicious, But Was It Smart?
  3. Red Hat-Microsoft: Take III
  4. Summary of the Red Hat-Microsoft Story


As it's put in reference to Red Hat's event this week:

To this day, as far as I know and have been informed, Red Hat still has no intention of engaging in any kind of patent deal with Microsoft. Yet the two can and do work together.


Red Hat did something without discriminating and harming fellow distributions of GNU/Linux, unlike Novell (but Microsoft goes directly to large Red Hat customers like Amazon, which it then extorts). As Matt Asay -- a former Novell employee -- put it, Novell is still all about software patents now that 'new' Novell is dying.

Either way, I suspect we’ll see some significantly improved bids for Novell. Its patent portfolio, coupled with its maintenance revenue and technology portfolio, offer too much strategic value to pass up.


Novell's unhealthy obsession with software patents has led it to a bad deal with Microsoft. Now that the Free software community is upset with Novell, the company turns back to proprietary software for identity management [1, 2] and proprietary software for Fog Computing, with new examples like 'cloud' manager. These are just 3 examples from the past 2 days.

“The staff at Novell which cares about software freedom sometimes just leaves as a result of that atrocious deal (sometimes to be replaced by ex-Softies).”Novell was never truly focused on software freedom, but before signing the Microsoft patent deal it at least tried. The staff at Novell which cares about software freedom sometimes just leaves as a result of that atrocious deal (sometimes to be replaced by ex-Softies).

What makes it impossible to forgive Novell is the fact that it continues to brag about that deal. It never expresses regrets. Using a joint press release Novell bragged about the Microsoft deal yet again (that was on Monday). It turns out that they apparently also paid for propaganda from Forrester, which is now promoting software patents deals with Microsoft because it was bribed paid to say so. Here is some preliminary coverage:

Two newly published customer studies by independent research firms, Forrester Consulting and Oliver Wyman Group, further quantify and detail benefits of Microsoft Corp. and Novell Inc.’s joint business and technical collaboration, and detail the significant return on investment (ROI) customers have realized by investing in the partnership.


It says right there that the "study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Microsoft and Novell" and we are never surprised to see propaganda from Forrester (example from last week), which Microsoft also pays to belittle/smear GNU/Linux.



Watch how this paid-for propaganda is being used in mainstream media and also promoted by Microsoft boosters like Marius Oiaga. On top of this, the 'Microsoft press' still promotes this patent extortion because it's good for Microsoft; this time it's Lee Pender taking his turn after similar 'Microsoft press' coverage from the same company. His colleague did this earlier too (Monday or Tuesday, i.e. a day after the press release, almost as though he had been briefed).

Microsoft is clearly desperate to convince customers and vendors to pay Microsoft for GNU/Linux. The fact that it manufactures some propaganda and then uses its bogus press to push this agenda is what makes it so shameless. Novell is clearly an accomplice here because it stands to benefit from it.

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