“Our partnership with Microsoft continues to expand.”
–Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO
Along with Novell, Microsoft continues hijacking GNU/Linux. A press release titled “Microsoft and Novell Expand Successful Interoperability Relationship” has just gone public. The Boston Globe seems to have known about it in advance, so it quickly issued an article which glorifies this disgusting betrayal of the Free software movement and the many thousands of developers involved.
Microsoft Corp.’s unlikely alliance with Linux software vendor Novell Inc. of Waltham is getting stronger.
Microsoft will resell the licenses to corporate users of Microsoft’s Windows operating system to help customers who want to run both Linux and Windows inside their data centers.
Microsoft executives alleged that Linux contained stolen Microsoft intellectual property. Linux supporters said the charge was intended to scare people away from switching from Microsoft Windows to Linux.
What the article does not state is that “interoperability” is just a cryptic code word for “software patents coupons”. Here is what Microsoft calls it:
“I’ve heard from Novell sales representatives that Microsoft sales executives have started calling the Suse Linux Enterprise Server coupons “royalty payments””
–Matt Asay, April 21st, 2008
Darryl Taft at eWeek has covered this also, but he offers no criticism of this now-advanced anti-GNU/Linux collusion.
The collaboration is nothing but another attempt to stop Red Hat, Ubuntu and the rest of them, ensuring all of GNU/Linux is taxed and policed by Microsoft. Just watch what they do in China where software patents are not even legitimate [1, 2, 3, 4]. Here is a new and interesting comment from Linux Today:
The #1 Linux myth is: Microsoft is not trying to suppress Linux (especially desktop Linux)
That’s it. Eliminate the Microsoft influence and Linux takes off like a rocket.
Linux is already much better technology and it is getting stronger.
According to eWeek, FUD monger Susan Hauser added some further clues. Is says that “[a]lthough the companies announced the incremental investment on August 20, Hauser said the investments will not take effect until Nov. 1, 2008, and between now and then Microsoft and Novell will solicit customer input on various aspects of the effort.” Of course, PR purposes are part of this whole announcement. We’ll come to this in a moment.
Why don’t the reporters delve deeper into the issues? It’s just a shallow re-delivery of the message from this press release. It’s not an isolated example of poor reporting that either ignores or does not understand the issues. Here is an example from Linux.com, which covered the Microsoft-occupied Scalix last night.
Unless Scalix changes its pricing plan, I recommend reserving Scalix for small businesses with few users who wanted to try email and groupware solutions for Exchange capabilities.
Had the article mentioned these problems, it would be clear why Scalix is pricey and one product to steer away from. Its agreement with Microsoft was its death knell. Scalix is owned by Xandros now and it’ also engaged in protocols licensing, i.e. software patents. It’s not free software.
The purpose of the latest step from Microsoft (and Novell) was probably to tie more companies to mythical software patents in GNU/Linux, but there’s more to it. It”s also about the illusion that Microsoft is not anti-competitive. The Redmond press does not help here. This Kool-Aid for example:
Microsoft and Open Source: The Real Deal?
Sure looks like it, based on the company’s partnership with Novell.
The brainwash machine is hard at work.
The Boston Globe article also quotes Microsoft’s pay-to-say Al Gillen [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. Of course, just like the Microsoft-owned press (such as NBC), he praises and plays up this patent deal. It’s just like SCO in the ‘mainstream’ press (back in 2003).
“The Boston Globe article also quotes Microsoft’s pay-to-say Al Gillen.”Prepare for journalists and pundits to pretend that Microsoft plays nice with GNU/Linux. They will try to use that against the European Commission and other active regulators. They might actually buy it. But instead, regulators should be furious to see how Microsoft divides developers and forces them to pay (involuntarily, via Novell) after waves of extortion lacking any evidence whatsoever.
It is very serious trouble when the press does not give a voice to known opposition, despite knowing that it exists. Generally speaking about this subject, the press is largely just a marketing funnel for Microsoft (and Novell). Media inquiries for Boycott Novell do exist, but they are rare. There is no balance. Reporting is gravitated towards money and power, not justice or truth, which may explain the little exposure the Free Software Foundation (and GNU) receives compared to Linux (Foundation).
More details to will arrive shortly. █