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

02.05.09

How Microsoft (with Novell) Subverts the Virtualisation Space to Harm Red Hat

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Red Hat, Servers, Virtualisation, Xen at 1:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft’s bizarre relationship with VMware is no news and given the role of EMC in this relationship, it’s clear that so-called 'moles' are driving the affair. According to the latest news, EMC and Microsoft are growing even closer. Much closer.

EMC, Microsoft team for share of IT budgets

[...]

While tech spending has not evaporated, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said on Tuesday that most companies have mandated that their IT departments cut a significant percentage from their budgets.

“To save 5 (percent) to 10 percent, you have to save a little bit on a lot of things,” Ballmer told CNET News on Tuesday, in a joint interview with EMC CEO Joe Tucci, “It’s not like there’s nothing new getting done. Some new projects are getting killed. There’s pressure on vendors to reduce prices.”

For the uninitiated, here is some background reading:

As The Inquirer puts it, “Microsoft divides IT budgets with EMC.” By a sort of inference, Microsoft is now sharing money with VMware as well. VMware is managed by former Microsoft employees, some of whom have a criminal past that Microsoft paid a lot of money to hide.

This week’s news speaks a lot about an open source product from VMware, but almost nobody pays attention to the fact that VMware is now promoting Microsoft’s pet GNU/Linux distribution, which comes at a cost (of software patents). In other words, the ‘new’ VMware (under Microsoft’s management) already helps demote distributions and vendors that don’t sell out to Microsoft, very much like Hyper-V does [1, 2].

We’ll note here that prominent among VMware View Open Client’s features is a Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Thin Client Add-On RPM package and command line interface.

But what about Red Hat?

Isn’t Red Hat the leading GNU/Linux distribution?

It sure seems as though Paul Maritz came from Microsoft to scoop up some former Microsoft colleagues with Tucci’s endorsement (Tucci became Microsoft’s partner of the year last year). Now he’s working from inside VMware to put a software patents ‘price tag’ on GNU/Linux. Wasn’t that predictable? Microsoft pried VMware from the hands of GNU/Linux. It is using its money and its partners to rob parts of the industry of GNU/Linux and impose Microsoft's rules. Remember XenSource too. Here is a new article about it.

If Microsoft Loved Open Source, Who Would It Buy?

[...]

Could Microsoft take its cash reserves and buy an open source company? Why not? Who expected Oracle and Citrix Systems to become such big investors in open source. Citrix’ purchase of XenSource sure has worked out–for Microsoft, in my opinion. And that example might seed a desire for more open source code in Microsoft’s camp.

[...]

“[Y]ou have to save a little bit on a lot of things,” Ballmer told CNET News on Tuesday, in a joint interview with EMC CEO Joe Tucci, “It’s not like there’s nothing new getting done. Some new projects are getting killed. There’s pressure on vendors to reduce prices.”

For background about XenSource and Microsoft, start here. What Microsoft and its super-close partner did there eventually pressured Red Hat into buying KVM (with its parent company) and maintaining its own virtualisation solution, which is laborious and cumbersome.

As Matt Asay correctly pointed out a couple of days ago, this is Microsoft’s and Novell’s war on Red Hat (and any GNU/Linux distribution that does not pay for mythical software patents).

Going forward, I believe that Red Hat must expand its solution offerings if it wants to take market share from Microsoft. The Unix-to-Linux “low hanging fruit” won’t last forever. When it’s gone, the biggest barrier to Red Hat’s continued growth will be Microsoft. Unless Red Hat starts acting now to build up a holistic response to Microsoft’s value proposition, including the desktop, Red Hat will eventually struggle to grow.

The piece above contains a dramatic exaggeration because we keep seeing businesses that dump Windows for Red Hat, but either way, it’s clear that Novell and Microsoft are both attacking any distribution which is not a vassal to software patents, Microsoft and its ecosystem. Therefore, Novell and SLE* must be stopped.

Steve Ballmer license

Image from Wikimedia

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

5 Comments

  1. Jose_X said,

    February 5, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Gravatar

    Every time you use an API think about the API *designer* and think about this http://boycottnovell.com/2009/02/04/the-api-trap-part-1/ .

    If you buy Microsoft software, for example, you probably are covered by the patents they own, at least for their software, at least for home use. For more protection, you likely have to pay more, at least this will probably be their model at some point in the future. [Maybe you could also buy protection against various patent proxies such as the trolls supported by Gates, Myhrvold, and others who probably do a lot of business with Microsoft.]

    However, if you are using FOSS but which relies on Microsoft *designed* APIs, you might want to make sure you review the link above. Your hope of avoiding paying by using MS cloned FOSS may bite you.

    Ideally, software patents would not be a concern (Bilski?), but how many headaches and how much of your business are you willing to risk? As the link above shows, we aren’t talking about a few random infringements. We’d be talking about application after application created over those API being subject to infringement.

    My view is this, if you use a little and if you aren’t very rich or if those apps don’t threaten Microsoft that much, then you are most likely OK, but you aren’t if push comes to shove. Do you want the cloud hanging over you.. as a dev.. as a user? Do you want the foundation of popular FOSS distros and FOSS apps clearly in the radar of Microsoft and their patent proxies because of the abundance of these dependencies on what Microsoft, and/or very close partners, clearly have inventor status?

    Some might be OK with FOSS taking a back seat to all that is proprietary. I am not. FOSS can be better or at least very good and useful all by itself. In those cases where FOSS excels, the patent threats and/or action will get loud. It’s only if FOSS quietly accepts its status as an “illegitimate child” that you might be safe from patents.. in which case, the proprietary extensions (controlled by commercial entities) of foss apps will be what is actually hot on the market.

    Since I reject the idea that freedom of FOSS “exists” but only if you stay very mediocre so as not to be sued, I, therefore, also reject Monopolysoft APIs.

  2. Jose_X said,

    February 5, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Gravatar

    >> It’s only if FOSS quietly accepts its status as an “illegitimate child” that you might be safe from patents.. in which case, the proprietary extensions (controlled by commercial entities) of foss apps will be what is actually hot on the market.
    >> Since I reject the idea that freedom of FOSS “exists” but only if you stay very mediocre so as not to be sued, I, therefore, also reject Monopolysoft APIs.

    To clarify.. the dream of proprietary vendors, especially monopolists, — especially very successful ambitious monopolists catering to large consumer markets — would be that all of the important stuff the bulk of people want is controlled and owned by them.

    FOSS is interesting when you consider that the next hot thing can come, in part, from your great contribution/effort. And you can enjoy the same great contributions of others.. who’d license them freely for you and all to leverage and enjoy.

    So that is why I said that I reject companies that cannot accept these scenarios where much that is interesting does not come from them or from something they own or from which they receive royalties. I reject making it easy as pie for them to sue and threaten me and my business or my customers because I left the door wide open having based this FOSS I use (and on which I rely) on API (and patents) they designed/invented.

    Indications are that Novell is a prime mover in spreading Microsoft’s patent candy, Microsoft being the primary API designer you want to avoid if you value the FOSS value proposition and ideals.

  3. Jose_X said,

    February 5, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Gravatar

    >> However, if you are using FOSS but which relies on Microsoft *designed* APIs, you might want to make sure you review the link above. Your hope of avoiding paying by using MS cloned FOSS may bite you.

    It’s not just about paying for what *you* use, of course.

    If you create something interesting and hope to have 10,000 (or maybe 100,000,000) or more others use it (for free or maybe by paying you for a service), a high per cost royalty can kill your dreams. It can kill your otherwise virtually zero cost distribution mechanisms. Why give someone else control over the fee knob to turn as they see fit to benefit their interests?

    Freedom of zero price (and of arbitrary restrictions controlled by someone else at their discretion) as a baseline is important, even if you also charge money, because this is the only way to guarantee someone else won’t control your ability to scale your product. Heck, maybe the fee you will be charged will depend on how good your product is.. the better, the more you pay. Why **voluntarily** give someone else that control over your business or hobby?

    After all, as discussed or implied here http://boycottnovell.com/2009/02/04/the-api-trap-part-1/ , it’s trivially easy to avoid most of the problems just mentioned by simply using a different but basically equally capable API designed by safer sources.

    Don’t start off on the wrong foot with the spreading disease. Start off healthy.


    As for vmware (and citrix, etc), they will probably start pushing their own FOSS-y looking hooks to crowd out KVM and the rest. What makes this worse than your regular greedy proprietary vendor’s attempt to make a buck is their particularly close relationship with FOSS Public Enemy number one, Monopolysoft.

  4. Jose_X said,

    February 5, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Gravatar

    A rant on why I shun Monopolysoft.

    I think some devs have dreams that Microsoft will be open one day. Their campuses will be like a gathering of like-minded smart (blah blah) people that can share in intellectually stimulating ways. Let Microsoft lead, be mostly opened, and that would be “heaven” (with “me” working there, of course). [I can relate to this feeling, as an actual "nerd/geek" that gets a high out of mental challenges of a tech nature and of interacting with others that think similarly.]

    Well, I don’t particularly like this world (assuming it would come true) nor believe it will come true. You can’t usually have that much more access than others and not pay in some ways.. either $$$ or through the sort of internal sickness felt for not really being able to share and cooperate freely with those in the wider world outside your “clan”.

    I also think the wider world has a lot to offer me and anyone. Everyone should have all the freedoms if possible. Some people (like the majority of people on the planet) weren’t born with a silver spoon in their mouth, and they will generally appreciate having access when otherwise they would not [to things of a tech nature or otherwise.]

    For all the reasons I like FOSS, I shun Monopolysoft and their extreme ways. For them, their work is way beyond making a living. It’s about exaggerated exploitation of others. That is completely incompatible with all the things that “make me feel good” about FOSS.

    So in thinking of my happiness, and of the many people that have yet to get a good whack at extending and customizing FOSS to solve their problems, I reject Microsoft and their many platforms and API. I won’t voluntarily walk into their patent traps or help grow their ecosystem.

    [Though I have no need for any, a simple app or two from Microsoft would be much less threatening.. unfortunately, any such apps currently would only work on their limited and sanctioned platforms.. which I reject outright.]

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 5, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Gravatar

    Microsoft already has patents-encumbered API calls in hypervisors that only SLES is able to use.

What Else is New


  1. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  2. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  3. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  4. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  5. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  6. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  7. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  8. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  9. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

    Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell



  10. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  11. Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

    Links for the day



  12. Microsoft's Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

    Microsoft boosters are preparing 'damage control' pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft



  13. Secrecy Allows British Government to be Manipulated by Microsoft for Spyware Behind Closed Doors

    Dependence on malicious software from NSA ally Microsoft is highly dependent, at least in Britain, on government secrecy and vain refusal to comply with Freedom of Information (FOI) requests



  14. Software Patent Applications Already Being Rejected in the US Owing to SCOTUS Ruling, Some Patent Lawyers Are Fuming

    Good news on the software patents front as the USPTO starts rejecting software patent applications, based on patent lawyers' words



  15. Links 15/7/2014: New Plasma, Google Announces Project Zero

    Links for the day



  16. Interest in Free Software Coverage and 9 Months With Tux Machines

    Thoughts about the level of interest in Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and growth of at least some sites that focus on GNU/Linux



  17. White House Backs Away From Appointing Patents Zealot to Top USPTO Position

    Philip Johnson is no longer poised to become the Director of the USPTO, which is basically an establishment that provides protectionism to primarily US-based corporations



  18. Professor James Bessen Presents the Case Against Software Patents After Important SCOTUS Ruling

    The debate about software patents in the Unites States continues, with academia on one side and greedy patent lawyers on the other



  19. Software Patents Demising in the US as Microsoft Patent Attacks on Android/Linux Suffer a Huge Setback

    M-Cam's assessment of Microsoft's bundle of extortion (using software patents) shows toothlessness, irrespective of the SCOTUS decision to effectively annul "abstract" software patents



  20. Links 13/7/2014: KDE Activity Surge

    Links for the day



  21. Pro-Microsoft Spin in Microsoft-Funded News Networks

    The rogue media (misinformation) campaign of Microsoft benefits from networks which have been paid by Microsoft over the years



  22. Cronyism at Play: European Hostility Towards Free/Libre Software Despite Espionage and Moles

    Europe continues to be held hostage with back doors, lock-in, and massive payments to foreign powers, despite evidence that these powers are destructive and hostile



  23. Wirelessly-Controlled Contraceptives and Other Villainous Bill Gates Initiatives

    Remote controls for people's reproductive systems are now in the making and Bill Gates is a prominent investor in the technology



  24. Links 12/7/2014: CrossOver, New Wine

    Links for the day



  25. Links 10/7/2014: LXLE 14.04 in Headlines, Plasma 5

    Links for the day



  26. OpenDocument Format (ODF) Still Alive and Kicking

    Caligra, WebODF and various influential nations' departure from Microsoft Office will help famous projects such as OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice make ODF the only international standard for editable documents exchange



  27. The Effect of Corporate Media Bias: FOSS Demonisation and Microsoft Openwashing

    A set of very recent examples where the corporate press produces FOSS-hostile articles (or pro-Microsoft articles) by citing biased sources of convenience



  28. The NSA's Top (and First) PRISM Partner, Microsoft, Lies to Governments and Businesses as Office Gets Banned in China

    Developments in China reveal that security and privacy threats posed by reliance on Microsoft are so great that a ban becomes inevitable and continues to expand (Microsoft put on more and more block lists and blacklists)



  29. Microsoft's Propaganda Machine Tries to Shift Security Debate Amid Serious Catastrophes

    Observations and analysis of some recent deception in corporate news sites (like Condé Nasty), trying to pretend that Microsoft is secure, that Microsoft is pursuing security, and that FOSS and Android security or privacy are inherently poor



  30. Despite SCOTUS Ruling, Microsoft Still Extorts Companies and Product Buyers Using FAT Software Patents, Latest Victim is Canon

    Canon and Microsoft sign a patent deal which relates to patents on FAT file systems and impacts some of Canon's products, potentially Linux products as well (Canon makes drivers for Linux but does not develop products with Android or GNU/Linux just yet)


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