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Microsoft Employees and Boosters Stick Nose in the Linux Tent

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 2:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Camels out humping

“We come in peace, so now open up your wallet and pay us for that copy of your Linux.”

Three weeks ago we wrote about Microsoft's presence in yet another Linux event. Microsoft, just as a reminder, views Linux as its number one competitor and at the same time it accuses Linux of "stealing" from Microsoft.

So, just behold the unsurprising news about Microsoft being unwelcome at this latest event. More disturbing, however, is Novell’s role as Microsoft excuse for inviting itself. We saw this before and surely we’ll be seeing more of it in the future.

Microsoft Faces Skeptics at Open Source Conference


Representatives of both companies provided a status report of their collaboration at the annual Linux/Open Source on Wall Street conference held in New York this week. Microsoft says it has sold more than 100,000 SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) licenses to about 60 large enterprise customers, among them Credit Suisse, HSBC, Synovus Financial Corp. and Wal-Mart.

Let us get something straight. When someone who takes (or “steals”, to use Microsoft’s own terminology) revenue from Linux, to which it contributed absolutely nothing (unless technical sabotage, FUD and intimidation count as “contributions”), can any of those so-called ‘skeptics’ be blamed at all? Just wait until anonymous folks come around to stick labels like "zealots" or "haters". It’s easy to discredit using blacklists.

“Watch carefully how Novell’s deal with Microsoft serves as a ticket for Microsoft to enter every Linux and open source conference.”Watch carefully how Novell’s deal with Microsoft serves as a ticket for Microsoft to enter every Linux and open source conference. Novell is praising Microsoft and encouraging people to approach Microsoft with open arms.

Microsoft recently sponsored the SugarCRM conference as well. One can only imagine what they quietly say or whisper to those developers and corporate clients about Linux (“Server 2008 is a superset of Linux”, “GPLv3 is scary”, “Linux patent violation claims are not bogus”, etc.) and how they channel people in Novell’s direction in order for software patent ‘tax’ to be extracted from SLED/SLES.

In other news about betrayal or poor principles, Watch this take on SpikeSource.

Intel’s investment in SpikeSource goes beyond financial ties, however. It has also picked the company to provide its new software testing and validation service, announced alongside the new 2nd generation Classmate PC.

We wrote about SpikeSource the other day and it seems like we were right to assume that MixedSource (a bit like Novell) might be a better name for the company, which has gotten itself a little too cosy with both Microsoft and Intel. At this stage, it even helps Intel with its anti-OLPC project, essentially an anti-charity ‘emergency response’ [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8].

Shane has been covering Novell’s mixed-source identity crisis and last wrote about it over a year ago. He was more recently arguing with Novell employees and/or OpenSUSE developers over at Slashdot where some Novell boosters reside.

To better exemplify Novell’s broken mixed-source strategy, consider the following article from Friday’s news:

Identity Management Based On Open Source Reference Code

The Novell-led Bandit project has announced a solution to help address one of the major business challenges faced by hotel and hospitality enterprises – how to cost effectively connect disparate systems to streamline administration and comply with regulatory requirements. Using open source, the Bandit project has written a reference implementation based on Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) standards that will bridge various systems and platforms in an enterprise, including legacy systems, with commercially available identity management software.

Mind the dubious use of the term “Open Source Reference Code”. Shades of Microsoft's own dilutions with OOXML.

Say No to Novell

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  1. LinuxIsFun said,

    April 6, 2008 at 3:29 am


    “We’re an intellectual property-based software company”

    Me Chuckles…

  2. Martin said,

    April 6, 2008 at 3:52 am


    Roy what do you mean by Windowization of FOSS?

    Is it the fact of just running FOSS on Windows? I’m using Firefox and Thunderbird on Windows and Linux…

    Or is it something else. Perhaps an article explaining what you mean if it is too big to go in a reply comment?

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 6, 2008 at 4:08 am


    Microsoft wants FOSS developers and FOSS-using businesses to have the inclination to demote Linux and promote Windows.


    Firefox is a good example of an application that once neglected GNU/Linux, but it doesn’t have roots in that platform.

  4. Victor Soliz said,

    April 6, 2008 at 7:08 am


    Microsoft is under the false impression that ‘open source’ is Linux’s killer app and that just by making open source run in windows people will not move to Linux (Unfortunately, firefox running in windows has only aided migrations so far)

    They are also under the misconception that they can actually make a FLOSS software target only one platform, the problem is that once you give a developer the source code and the license to do whatever he wants with it he will be able to port a program. Microsoft cannot make open source run in only one platform. Neither “free software” and “open source” allow a windows-only clause in their licenses.

    I hope they keep trying though, it is better to see them spend resources in a fight they cannot win than seeing them use the resources on more deals, lobbying, etc.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 6, 2008 at 7:13 am


    One thing they can try, however, is to use proprietary hooks and APIs (think about Hyper-V and hypercalls in Xen for example). In the case of servers, there are also connections to proprietary parts of the stacks, e.g. SQL Server, SharePoint, etc. So while I agree with what you say, it can get a little more complicated than this.

  6. Martin said,

    April 6, 2008 at 7:46 am


    Thanks for the into Roy and Victor although I am typing this on Windows I am considering changing to Linux on the Desktop and leaving Windows for the odd game or two thats better on the PC than the Xbox…

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 6, 2008 at 7:53 am


    It will get easier over time. Microsoft is well aware of the fact that software will inevitably go Web-based (not necessarily in the most conventional of ways because of Gears, Prism, even WPF, which is why Microsoft introduced .NET).

    See the following:

    A walk through Xcerion’s icloud

    Xcerion, a little-known Swedish start-up, has created a browser-based environment known as icloud that looks a whole lot like a Windows or Linux desktop.

    Forget Facebook. The Web’s platform is Firefox

    That user experience is starting to evolve beyond today’s browsing experience. The most interesting topic discussed in our meeting was just how compelling Mozilla’s Firefox will increasingly be as the platform for much that happens on the Web. Forget Facebook, MySpace, the iPhone, and other so-called platforms. Firefox could well prove to be the most disruptive Web platform on the market. Here’s why.

    Adobe sees full shift to Web in next decade

    Adobe Systems is working to deliver all of its software via the Web as a service rather than a packaged product, but the transition to earn money from subscriptions or advertising could take a decade…

    That’s why Microsoft is so determined to harm Google and Adobe, whose CEO has departed. Microsoft’s number one fear remains GNU/Linux (by its own admission) and the GPL. Not Sun or IBM. Not even Apple.

  8. Woods said,

    April 6, 2008 at 8:48 am


    >Identity Management Based On Open Source Reference Code

    I wonder what role Novell will play in the future development of these (apparently groundbreaking?) identity management technologies (from MS)

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