EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

04.19.08

Why Again is the Novell/Microsoft Deal So Darn Ugly?

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, GPL, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Oracle, Patent Covenant, Patents, Red Hat, Steve Ballmer, Windows at 2:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Steve Ballmer license

Image from Wikimedia

Matt Asay has just weighed in on this debate that was mentioned here before. It’s centered around the mixing of Free software and software patents. His post is long, he has many insightful things to share rant about and here is just a fragment.

Dual-licensing with patents: It’s bound to happen

[...]

The problem with this sort of distinction (which we and virtually every open-source company of which I’m familiar espouses, in terms of a “community” and “professional” version) is how easily patent protection could creep into the one but not the other. When the open-source world starts selling the same FUD that the proprietary world does we have lost.

I care far less about hybrid models that depend on a mixture of proprietary extensions and an open-source core, as MySQL is contemplating, than I do about hybrid models that are a blend of “open source and very risky!” and “proprietary and oh so safe!”. If we slip into this sort of a model, open source loses its potency. It loses its character. It loses its integrity.

The downstreaming problem which he speaks of is represented by Novell's Moonlight. Novell already steps further than this, e.g. by separating Mono into 'chunks' depending on Microsoft’s R(seanable)AND, which is only as unreasonable as it wants and needs it to be. If you wish to witness Microsoft’s mis-comprehension of ‘open source’ (or “open minus source”, i.e. open-source), then take a look at Ozzie’s remarks which we intentionally only alluded to earlier but never took seriously. The ‘news’ was so insignificant that it was hardly comment-worthy. Microsoft is still all “patents, patents, patents!”

The concessions Microsoft makes are merely a case of public image — saving face on the face of it. If you need another more contemporary glimpse at Microsoft’s attitude, get a load of this latest analysis from the 451 Group.

There was general agreement that large IT vendors, including software giants such as Google, Oracle and even Microsoft, all see a need for involvement in open source. What also emerged as a common theme during our panel was that no big vendor could afford not to be in open source in some way or another. Basically, it’s been competitive necessity and cost effectiveness that has led vendors to open source, and this helps explain why we see open source all over the place. There was also a recognition that we were not talking about what vendors might be doing or when they might be making moves around open source. We were talking about the things these vendors are doing today and where they are looking next to push the ideas and advantages of open source further.

As you know, Google and Oracle just adore Free software. Yes, they love using it. They love receiving updates. They love the fact that Red Hat builds a platform for them and in the case of Oracle, lots of support money can be extracted at the developers’ expense. What’s not to love when you’re a freeloader?

“Microsoft’s legacy assets (secret code) become increasingly redundant as equivalent and often superior Free software is made available…”As for Microsoft, it wishes to believe that open source as a whole will become yet another Windows ISV that brings profits to Microsoft. In many other cases, it’s a tad unfortunate to find how they turned Free software into just visibility of source code as a marketing distinguisher if not a self-serving ploy.

Microsoft’s legacy assets (secret code) become increasingly redundant as equivalent and often superior Free software is made available for download, use, and redistribution. Microsoft knows all of this. What can it brag about? Probably just piles of papers, fueled by the very same laws it aggressively lobbies for. It shapes market rules to suppress emerging threats, to hinder natural progression, sometimes perceived as “disruption”. In response, we, as Free software supporters, must protest to keep the law in tact or restore it to a state of sanity. Digital slavery and a modern-age feudal system is good for nobody.

Oh look! The press is buzzing about another Microsoft intellectual monopoly. Watch carefully what you do with your hands now.

Right and left mouse buttons are placed on the side in a thumb-accessible position, and the design is unobtrusive enough to allow for easy typing when it’s on. We’d love to get a hand-on with the mouse if it ever comes out. It looks great and the ability to surf the internet without keeping our hand close to the computer is very conducive to our leisure time activities.

The gist of it all: a combination of prior art fitted onto A4-sized white paper sheets. Can’t have too many of these though! Word on the street is that Microsoft has run out of paper, so it can’t let Linux know what it’s allegedly infringing on.

“Most people who are familiar with patents know it’s not standard operating procedure to list the patents… The response of that would be administratively impossible to keep up with.”

Jim Markwith, Microsoft patents attorney
(after saber-rattling against Linux)

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Microsoft's and Bill Gates' Biggest Patent Troll (Intellectual Ventures) Suffers Setback and Nokia is Dead While Patents Scattered to Microsoft Patent Proxies

    Microsoft's patent collectors (trolls) are to have a feast with Nokia patents while Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's largest patent proxy, continues to attack companies including Motorola



  2. Patent Racketeering Continues With Nadella: Motorola the Latest to Join the FUD Campaign

    Nadella continues Ballmer's campaign of intimidation and alienation, showing that nothing has changed at Microsoft, not even the FUD



  3. Links 23/4/2014: GNOME Maps Application, LG in Headlines

    Links for the day



  4. Links 22/4/2014: More GNU/Linux Gains, Syria Updates

    Links for the day



  5. Links 21/4/2014: New Games for GNU/Linux, Some NatSec Politics

    Links for the day



  6. Site Focus for The Remainder of the Year

    What we plan for the rest of 2014 and why



  7. Links 20/4/2014: EFF FOSS, Easter Drone Strikes, Copyright Industry Fear of Google

    Links for the day



  8. Links 19/4/2014: Slow Easter News Day

    Links for the day



  9. Links 18/4/2014: New KDE, Kubuntu, and More

    Links for the day



  10. Some Perspective on Heartbleed®

    Our views on the whole Heartbleed® bonanza, which seems like partly a PR stunt (for multiple stakeholders)



  11. Microsoft is Leaving Windows -- Including Vista 8.1 -- Vulnerable to Non-Government Crackers, Not Only to NSA

    Microsoft makes it ever more evident that securing users of Windows is not at all a priority, and perhaps not even a desire



  12. Links 17/4/2014: Android RDP, New Ubuntu, RHEL 7 Milestone

    Links for the day



  13. Racing to 1984: Mass Surveillance, Cracking, 'Targeted' Assassinations, and Illegal Torture

    Links for the day



  14. More Microsoft Subsidies to Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures

    Microsoft hands money to Bill Gates' close friend who is the world's largest patent troll



  15. Aiding Microsoft Under the Disguise of 'Pro-FOSS'

    Not everything which is FOSS necessary becomes, by virtue of existence, a positive contribution, as we are constantly reminded by projects that help proprietary software and/or restrictions get a strong grip on FOSS



  16. Links 16/4/2014: Red Hat PR, Ubuntu LTS Imminent

    Links for the day



  17. Links 15/4/2014: Lots of PCLinuxOS Releases, Ukraine Updates

    Links for the day



  18. Apple and Microsoft Actively Lobbying Against Patent Reform in the US

    Apple and Microsoft are reportedly intervening/interfering with US law in order to ensure that the law is Free/libre software-hostile



  19. Lawsuit by Microsoft Shareholder Targets Fine for Crimes Rather Than the Crimes Themselves

    A new lawsuit by a Microsoft shareholder shows everything that's wrong with today's model of accountability, where those who are responsible for crimes are accused of not avoiding fines rather than committing the crimes



  20. Public Institutions Must Dump PRISM-Associated Software

    Another reminder that taxpayers-subsidised services should refuse, as a matter of principle, to pay anything for -- let alone deploy -- proprietary software with back doors



  21. GNU/Linux News: The Opportunities Amid XP EOL

    Links for the day



  22. Microsoft Gets Its Money's Worth From Xamarin: PlayStation 4 Now Polluted by Microsoft

    The Trojan horse of Microsoft, Xamarin, is pushing .NET into Microsoft's console competitor



  23. After Brendan Eich Comes Chris Beard

    Having removed Brendan Eich using bullying and blackmail tactics, his foes inside Mozilla achieved too little as we have yet another man (coming from inside Mozilla) acting as CEO



  24. Healthcare News: Free Software in Health, Humanitarian Causes

    Links for the day



  25. Links 14/4/2014: MakuluLinux, Many Games, More Privacy News and Pulitzer Prize for NSA Revelations

    Links for the day



  26. TechBytes Episode 87: Catching up With Surveillance (NSA, GCHQ et al.)

    The first audio episode in a very long time covers some of the latest happenings when it comes to privacy and, contrariwise, mass surveillance



  27. Server News: KVM, ElasticHosts, Other GNU/Linux Items, and Open Network Linux

    Links for the day



  28. Hardware News: Freedom, Modding, Hackability on the Rise

    Links for the day



  29. Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

    Links for the day



  30. GNOME News: Financial Issues, Mutter-Wayland, West Coast Summit, Community Participation

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts