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. Heiko Maas and the State of Germany Viewed as Increasingly Complicit in EPO Scandals and Toxic UPC Agenda

    It is becoming hard if not impossible to interpret silence and inaction from Maas as a form of endorsement for everything the EPO has been doing, with the German delegates displaying more of that apathy which in itself constitutes a form of complicity



  2. With IP Kat Coverage of EPO Scandals Coming to an End (Officially), Techrights and The Register Remain to Cover New Developments

    One final post about the end of Merpel’s EPO coverage, which is unfortunate but understandable given the EPO’s track record attacking the media, including blogs like IP Kat, sites of patent stakeholders, and even so-called media partners



  3. Everyone, Including Patent Law Firms, Will Suffer From the Demise of the EPO

    Concerns about quality of patents granted by the EPO (EPs) are publicly raised by industry/EPO insiders, albeit in an anonymous fashion



  4. Yes, Battistelli's Ban on EPO Strikes (or Severe Limitation Thereof) is a Violation of Human Rights

    Battistelli has curtailed even the right to strike, yet anonymous cowards attempt to blame the staff (as in patent examiners) for not going out of their way to engage in 'unauthorised' strikes (entailing dismissal)



  5. Even the EPO's Administrative Council No Longer Trusts Its Chairman, Battistelli's 'Chinchilla' Jesper Kongstad

    Kongstad's protection of Battistelli, whom he is supposed to oversee, stretches to the point where national representatives (delegates) are being misinformed



  6. Thanks to Merpel, the World Knows EPO Scandals a Lot Better, But It's a Shame That IP Kat Helped UPC

    A look back at Merpel's final post about EPO scandals and the looming threat of the UPC, which UPC opportunists such as Bristows LLP still try hard to make a reality, exploiting bogus (hastily-granted) patents for endless litigation all around Europe



  7. EPO Critics Threatened by Self-Censorship, Comment Censorship, and a Growing Threat to Anonymity

    Putting in perspective the campaign for justice at the EPO, which to a large degree relies on whistleblowers and thus depends a great deal on freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and anonymity



  8. Links 25/3/2017: Maru OS 0.4, C++17 Complete

    Links for the day



  9. Judge and Justice Bashing in the United States, EPC Bashing at the EPO

    Enforcement of the law based on constitutional grounds and based on the European Patent Convention (EPC) in an age of retribution and insults -- sometimes even libel -- against judges



  10. Looking for EPO Nepotism? Forget About Jouve and Look Closely at Europatis Instead.

    Debates about the contract of Jouve with the EPO overlook the elephants in the room, which include companies that are established and run by former EPO chiefs and enjoy a relationship with the EPO



  11. Depressing EPO News: Attacks on Staff, Attacks on Life, Brain Drain, Patents on Life, Patent Trolls Come to Germany, and Spain Being Misled

    A roundup of the latest developments at the EPO combined with feedback from insiders, who are not tolerating their misguided and increasingly abusive management



  12. It Certainly Looks Like Microsoft is Already Siccing Its Patent Trolls, Including Intellectual Ventures, on Companies That Use Linux (Until They Pay 'Protection' Money)

    News about Intellectual Ventures and Finjan Holdings (Microsoft-funded patent trolls) reinforces our allegations -- not mere suspicions anymore -- that Microsoft would 'punish' companies that are not paying subscription fees (hosting) or royalties (patent tax) to Microsoft and are thus in some sense 'indebted' to Microsoft



  13. Links 24/3/2017: Microsoft Aggression, Eudyptula Challenge Status Report

    Links for the day



  14. Bernhard Rapkay, Former MEP and Rapporteur on Unitary Patent, Shoots Down UPC Hopes While UPC Hopefuls Recognise That Spain Isn't Interested Either

    Germany, the UK and Spain remain massive barriers to the UPC -- all this in spite of misleading reports and fake news which attempted to make politicians believe otherwise (for political leverage, by means of dirty lobbying contingent upon misinformation)



  15. Links 23/3/2017: Qt 5.9 Beta, Gluster Storage 3.2

    Links for the day



  16. The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation Has Just Buried an Innocent Judge That Battistelli Does Not Like

    An innocent judge (never proven guilty of anything, only publicly defamed with help from Team Battistelli and dubious 'intelligence' gathering) is one of the forgotten casualties of the latest meeting of the Administrative Council (AC), which has become growingly complicit rather than a mere bystander at a 'crime' scene



  17. Nepotism at the European Patent Office and Suspicious Absence of Tenders for Big Projects

    Carte blanche is a French term which now perfectly describes the symptoms encountered in the European Patent Office, more so once led by a lot of French people (Battistelli and his friends)



  18. “Terror” Patent Office Bemoans Terror, Spreads Lies

    Response to some of the latest utterances from the European Patent Office, where patently untruthful claims have rapidly become the norm



  19. China Seems to be Using Patents to Push Foreign Companies Out of China, in the Same Way It Infamously Uses Censorship

    Chinese patent policies are harming competition from abroad, e.g. Japan and the US, and US patent policy is being shaped by its higher courts, albeit not yet effectively combating the element that's destroying productive companies (besieged by patent trolls)



  20. 22,000 Blog Posts

    A special number is reached again, marking another milestone for the site



  21. The EPO is Lying to Its Own Staff About ILO and Endless (Over 2 Years) EPO Mistrials

    The creative writing skills of some spinners who work for Battistelli would have staff believe that all is fine and dandy at the EPO and ILO is dealing effectively with staff complaints about the EPO (even if several years too late)



  22. EPO’s Georg Weber Continues Horrifying Trend of EPO Promoting Software Patents in Defiance of Directive, EPC, and Common Sense

    The EPO's promotion of software patents, even out in the open, is an insult to the notion that the EPO is adhering to or is bound by the rules upon which it maintains its conditional monopoly



  23. Protectionism v Sharing: How the US Supreme Court Decides Patent Cases

    As the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) starts delivering some decisions we take stock of what's to come regarding patents



  24. Links 22/3/2017: GNOME 3.24, Wine-Staging 2.4 Released

    Links for the day



  25. The Battistelli Regime, With Its Endless Scandals, Threatens to Crash the Unitary Patent (UPC), Stakeholders Concerned

    The disdain and the growing impatience have become a huge liability not just to Battistelli but to the European Patent Office (EPO) as a whole



  26. The Photos the EPO Absolutely Doesn't Want the Public to See: Battistelli is Building a Palace Using Stakeholders' Money

    The Office is scrambling to hide evidence of its out-of-control spendings, which will leave the EPO out of money when the backlog is eliminated by many erroneous grants (or rejections)



  27. In the US Patent System, Evolved Tricks for Bypassing Invalidations of Software Patents and Getting Them Granted by the USPTO

    A roundup of news about patents in the US and how the patent microcosm attempts to patent software in spite of Alice (high-impact SCOTUS decision from 2014)



  28. “Then They Came For Me—And There Was No One Left To Speak For Me.”

    The decreasing number of people who cover EPO scandals (partly due to fear, or Battistelli's notorious "reign of terror") and a cause for hope, as well as a call for help



  29. As Expected, the Patent Microcosm is Already Interfering, Lobbying and Influencing Supreme Court Justices

    The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is preparing to deliver some important decisions on cases with broad ramifications, e.g. for patent scope, and those who make money from patent feuds are attempting to alter the outcome (which would likely restrict patent scope even further, based on these Justices' track record)



  30. Intellectual Ventures -- Like Microsoft (Which It Came From) -- Spreads Patents to Manifest a Lot of Lawsuits

    That worrisome strategy which is passage of patents to active (legally-aggressive) trolls seems to be a commonality, seen across both Microsoft and its biggest ally among trolls, which Microsoft and Bill Gates helped create and still fund


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