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

10.14.08

Novell Incorporated: Convergence of Windows and GNU/Linux Since 2006

Posted in GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Windows at 8:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patents incorporated also

Novell and Microsoft piss on GNU/Linux codebase

SEVERAL DAYS ago, in an essay from Novell’s management in Canada, the relationship between Microsoft and Novell was reaffirmed in the sense that it was shown once again that Novell competes not against Microsoft and Windows; it competes against UNIX, Apple, Sun, Red Hat, Ubuntu (Canonical) and so forth.

To quote Ross Chevalier, “It’s not about replacing Windows with Linux, it’s about making it dead simple for the two to work together.” He also adds: “No other software company our size is as about interoperability as we are.”

Clearly enough, Novell has not heard of open standards as a bridging element. Or maybe Novell is just indifferent, almost uninterested, so it facilitates and reinforces Microsoft lock-in instead. Had Novell behaved properly, it would be capable of saying: “No other software company our size is as about open standards as we are.” But Novell supports ActiveX, Windows Vista, Internet Explorer, .NET, and even XAML.

NindowsNovell seems as obsessed as Microsoft with this sound bite: inter-oper-ability. Big word, empty promise, no substance. What would make better ‘interoperability’ than an almost-complete unification (imitation rather) of APIs, based on Microsoft’s own terms, of course? Software patents (equals cost) as well as control are only two among a variety of broad issues. Whereas reverse engineering like Wine encourages no developers to actively build the Free desktop using Microsoft APIs (including DirectX), Novell’s MonoDevelop is a sign that Novell has sincere yet risky intentions to do so.

Well, as the road to Mono clears up and even Microsoft people join the cause (yes, not only Novell staff is on board anymore), lots of media hype is generated to usher what Novell wishes to label “inevitable”. It’s true, Novell gave up fighting and it wants us too to become defeatists. Novell insists that Windows and .NET are not going away and therefore they must be embraced, even through internal assimilation of GNU/Linux to Windows’ 'superb' security model and intellectual monopolies (.NET).

Sam Varghese has a new article about the unexplained hype surrounding the release of Mono 2.0. We are not the only ones to have noticed an abnormality.

As Novell vice-president Miguel de Icaza, the head of this project, has been blathering on about Mono for years and years, one did not expect that this announcement would have any more traction than the grandiose announcements of previous releases.

Mono, after all, is a project that tailgates APIs from Microsoft, and its development and adoption increasingly makes those who use it open to patent infringement claims by Microsoft.

Surprise, surprise! Many sections of the tech press went bonkers about this announcement. To use a phrase from a former Australian politician, a whole conga line of suckholes lined up to write about it and even interview de Icaza.

[....]

In June 2001, Ximian set up the Mono project. Today the project defines itself as “an open development initiative sponsored by Novell to develop an open source, UNIX version of the Microsoft .NET development platform.” The Novell bits were introduced in 2003 after the purchase of Ximian.

When Microsoft can proudly claim that Free software developers use .NET (Mono) it can then invite them to do it with ‘real thing’ (Visual Studio) for the ‘real’ platform (Windows Vista). Novell and Microsoft help promote a notion, not just among users but also among developers, that GNU/Linux is a second-class choice, a clone, a compromise [1, 2]. They prevent those developers from taking the lead with already-leading and highly-proven technologies like Java.

Mono, ECMA, Microsoft

Another reasons to avoid Mono may be backward compatibility, as pointed out by one of our readers.

I really do not understand why Net is not backwards compatible but I suppose at least I should be happy that the libraries can co-exist instead of the old DLL hell. Microsofts attempt to replace Java could have been implemented in a better way.

Novell’s attitude remains both tactless and dangerous. It puts itself (and moreso others) in unnecessary danger of reliance and dependency, both from a technical and a legal perspective. Moreover, it does almost nothing to compete with Windows.

Novell’s attitude is something like: Why compete with Windows? Just try to work together with Windows (and really hope that Microsoft won’t bite the heads off). Other people knew better, but they learned this lesson the hard way. It was already too late, but they can still teach us something many years later.

“I once preached peaceful coexistence with Windows. You may laugh at my expense — I deserve it.”

Be’s CEO Jean-Louis Gassée

“Pearly Gates and Em-Ballmer
One promises you heaven and the other prepares you for the grave.”

Ray Noorda, Novell

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

9 Comments

  1. satish said,

    October 14, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Gravatar

    Well i have been hearing a lot of Criticism for Miguel , even i agree that what he is upto is not truly in the spirit of open source . We would expect more passion for the Open Source community form someone who created one among the most famous Open Source projects ….. though i am truly not eligible to comment considering the miniscule contributions i have made to OSS ( and continue to make ) …. but i can’t hold back my dislike !!

  2. Fred Arnold said,

    October 14, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    Gravatar

    Why do you hold it against Novell for not competing with Microsoft? They are partners, after all. As for why is Mono getting so much attention now, I’d say it’s because of the recent 2.0 release, and then all the foamy fact-challenged columnists like Sam V. trying to stir something up. Can we have more facts and fewer vague rants, please? In a nutshell, after wading through the insults and handwaving, its two things: everyone hates Miguel, and there is a very vague patent threat. Mono has been around for seven years now- what is microsoft waiting for?

    I agree that Novell is doing too little to implement actual open standards, and I can even cite their awful kludgy iPrint as one example of a useless proprietary blob of a supposedly cross-platform server. It relies on ActiveX for god’s sake, so there are some truly awful mac and linux clients. which are pointless when CUPS works fine, as do Novell’s older printer servers.

    So there is one specific- where are yours?

  3. TK said,

    October 15, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Gravatar

    “Mono has been around for seven years now- what is microsoft waiting for?”

    MS is waiting for the guards to fall asleep before they begin wreaking havoc from that trojan horse. Has MS retracted the whole “Linux violates over 200 MS patents” meme? Hmm? No, right?

    “Why do you hold it against Novell for not competing with Microsoft? They are partners, after all.”

    This argument tries to bypass the meat of the matter – that a company with a Linux product has a partner agreement with MS IS the outcry. Many folks feel like Novell may be holding the gates open for MS to run right in. Unless you understand that FOSS and proprietary software, especially their intended goals, are oil and water, you won’t understand why so many folks won’t touch it with a 10-foot pole.

    Many folks are leery of these agreements. They see this as a possible attempt to plant code that hopefully no one will notice; later, when the code is in wider use, MS will begin jumping up and down shouting, “Ah hah! We have the smoking gun! See? Linux violates our patents and here’s the proof!” Folks are none the wiser.

    Yes, I know this sounds like a Dale Gribble rant. :)

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 15, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Gravatar

    Mono has been around for seven years now- what is microsoft waiting for?

    Ask the people of Troy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troy

    Also ask Rambus. It’s called patent ambush.

  5. seller_liar said,

    October 15, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Gravatar

    API domination is a bad way for free software.

  6. bob said,

    October 15, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Gravatar

    So what about WINE and ReactOS? Are they not a larger target? Do they not implement a larger number of Windows APIs compared to Novell’s work?

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 15, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Gravatar

    bob,

    That is a common question. Since WINE enables you to run Windows executables ‘as-is’ (are), there is no actual construction of the desktop using Wine libraries. This means that if reverse-engineering of DirectX and COM ever became an issue, that would not have impact on native GNU/Linux applications but more of an appendage that’s foreign in the sense that it’s binary and replaceable anyway. The damage is being constrained and isolated.

    Remember that Novell distributes MonoDevelop and actively encourages volunteers to build the Free desktop with Mono. It even sponsors that, e.g. in Banshee. Novell is the only company that’s permitted to do such things.

    Glyn Moody explained this point last week; we are far from a sole voice. He also explained why the “they are evil too” defence does not work for Samba.

  8. Fred A said,

    October 15, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Gravatar

    “Many folks are leery of these agreements. They see this as a possible attempt to plant code that hopefully no one will notice; later, when the code is in wider use, MS will begin jumping up and down shouting, “Ah hah! We have the smoking gun! See? Linux violates our patents and here’s the proof!” Folks are none the wiser.

    Yes, I know this sounds like a Dale Gribble rant. :)

    Well yes it does :). Seriously, it’s still vague. All software violates some patent somewhere. True, MS’ business plan starts, ends and in-betweens nasty dirty tricks. So let’s say that secret patent-violating code is successfuly on-purpose sneaked into Mono and MS sues. Who will they sue? Novell and Red Hat are the only Linux vendors of any size, and even they aren’t that attractive in terms of recovering money damages. If they both get sued out of business Linux will go on. It’s really hard to see this as anything other than ‘evil by association’, and Miguel doesn’t badmouth MS enough.

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 15, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    Gravatar

    They don’t need to sue; they can go to users directly (extortions). They already do this very quietly:
    http://boycottnovell.com/2007/05/15/linux-money-for-ms/

    It’s also important to understand why Mono is very different:
    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/09/20/mono-java-dotnet-analysis/

What Else is New


  1. Links 22/12/2014: GNU/Linux at Sky News, Another Tizen Camera

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: November 30th, 2014 – December 20th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  3. Links 21/12/2014: China and Linux, GNOME Shell 3.15.3

    Links for the day



  4. The New Age of Games for UNIX/Linux But Not for Windows, Microsoft is Openwashing Windows-Only Games

    The world is moving to GNU- and Linux-powered platforms, so Microsoft withdraws GNU/Linux support from games it buys and starts openwashing its Windows-only games



  5. Microsoft Essentially Sends Malware to Windows and Bricks It

    Microsoft is once again bricking Vista 7, demonstrating lack of reliability or very low quality programming



  6. Microsoft Lays Off Staff, Cheapens Labour as More Companies Are Dumping Microsoft's Lock-in, NSA-Friendly Services, and Windows

    A look at some of Microsoft's latest woes, including an appeal for cheaper labour amid decrease in business



  7. Links 19/12/2014: Robolinux 7.7.1 LXDE, Red Hat Thriving

    Links for the day



  8. Another Microsoft Partner Markets Linux FUD Using Logo, Name, and Lies

    Microsoft's partner Alert Logic is trying to label a feature of Linux a security flaw and even makes marketing buzz for it



  9. Redmonk is Spreading Black Duck's Anti-GPL Talking Points After Payments From Black Duck, Microsoft

    CBS' ZDNet spreads the GNU-hostile narrative which comes from Redmonk, funded by Microsoft and Black Duck, citing Black Duck, which also comes from Microsoft and is a partner of Microsoft



  10. 'Good' Software Patents From EA Show Cases Where DRM is a Patent Infringement

    Where two evils collide the public benefits, or how some software patents discourage the use of DRM



  11. Richard Stallman: What Does It Mean for Your Computer to Be Loyal?

    New article from Richard Stallman



  12. Links 18/12/2014: LinuxQuestions.org Polls, Fedora for POWER

    Links for the day



  13. Links 16/12/2014: Google and ODF, Civilization: Beyond Earth Comes to GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  14. Bill Gates' Pet Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as Founder Quits

    Intellectual Ventures founder leaves after an exceptionally large round of layoffs, despite [cref 77299 recent subsidies from Sony and Microsoft]



  15. Keeping Software Patents Out of Europe Following the Demise of Software Patents in the US

    Instability in the EPO seemingly prevents further expansion of patent scope, which is the subject of scrutiny of EPO staff



  16. Links 15/12/2014: OSI 2014 Annual Report, GPLv2 Court Test

    Links for the day



  17. Links 14/12/2014: Calligra 2.9 Beta, Krita 2.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  18. Software Patents Are Dying in the US, But Patent Lawyers Refuse to Admit It

    Patent lawyers continue to distort the reality of software patents' demise in the United States



  19. Links 13/12/2014: Android Wear “Lollipop”, European Commission and FOSS

    Links for the day



  20. Time to Take Microsoft Out of British Aviation Before Planes Crash Into Buildings

    London's mighty Heathrow Airport among those affected by a Microsoft-reliant air traffic control system which is not being able to properly recover from an outage, and not for the first time either



  21. News From France and Germany: Battistelli Under Fire, But Not Fired Yet, Just Firing His Opposition

    The régime headed by Benoît Battistelli and his criminal deputy continues to overthrow or pressure out everyone who is not 'loyal' to the régime



  22. Links 12/12/2014: Linux++, KDE Frameworks 5.5.0, Calligra 2.8.7

    Links for the day



  23. The USPTO is Broken: New Evidence Presented

    The scope of patents, as evidenced by some statistical figures and individual patents, shows that the USPTO is broken and must be reformed or dismantled



  24. US Patent Reform (on Trolls Only) More or Less Buried or Ineffective

    An update on efforts to reform the patent system in the United States, including the possibly imminent appointment of Michelle Lee to USPTO leadership role



  25. Software Patents in Canada Not Dead Yet

    Canada's patent status quo increasingly like that of the United States and Canadian giants like BlackBerry now pose a threat to software developers



  26. Dreaming of a Just Christmas: When a Third of EPO Walks Out to Revolt and European Judges Attack the EPO Over Abuses

    Information about the abuses of Battistelli et al. at the EPO are finally receiving wider coverage and increasing the strain on Battistelli's authoritarian reign



  27. Links 11/12/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 Beta, Firefox 35 Plans

    Links for the day



  28. Ubuntu Core Announcement is Not About Microsoft and Hosting Ubuntu on Azure is Worse Than Stupid

    The power of media spin makes the idea of hosting Free software under the control of an NSA PRISM and back doors partner seem alluring



  29. France Gets Involved in Battistelli's Abuses in the EPO - Part XII (Updated)

    The EPO scandal has officially spilled over to France, where a French Senator got involved and starts asking serious questions



  30. Rolling of Heads Likely Imminent at EPO

    The European patent system is shaking as management breaks the rules, staff is protesting against the management every week, and charges of corruption resurface


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