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Old 11-05-2006, 05:58 PM   #46
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The FUD has been flying thick and fast over at, where I administrate. We're up to 17 pages on our thread, with people going around and around and around and around on the subject.

In short, I'm of the opinion that this could be an excellent step forward for Novell's product if MS holds up their end of the deal. In two words, I'm "warily optimistic". Rather than cut-and-paste my blog entry and spend another hour adjusting the formatting, I'll just point you to my blog post on the subject.

Microsoft and Novell Collaborate

~~ Andrew D.
Old 11-05-2006, 10:00 PM   #47
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sorry, can't type now, still laughing too hard.
Old 11-05-2006, 10:29 PM   #48
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Linux has gained too much momentum for Linux to take it down. If they are indeed trying to kill SuSE, and succeed, there are other distributions which are using SuSE-contributed GPL code.
Old 11-06-2006, 12:50 AM   #49
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@andrew: I disagree with your blog, almost in it's entirety. But hey, opinion's are like belly buttons, everyone has one And to your credit, you are "warily optimistic", and I give you credit for that for sure.

But the end benefit's I really do not see as a benefit, as I think there are way's to achieve the same goal without the necessity for this deal.

* I can run Microsoft Windows on a Linux computer via virtualization and it won’t be slow or buggy. It will be responsive and have full hardware acceleration. AOE 3 in Linux, here I come.
Probably not to far in the distant future vmware would achieve these without the need for this deal. I run ubuntu, fedora, and slackware in vm's in my slackware box and they fly. I did notice that the VM's run slow when hosted by a Windows box...well let MS figure it out on their own for a change. That's the problem here, the deal is for them all ways around.

* I can run Linux at work and write all my technical documentation in Linux with no problems translating the code into MS Office. (OpenOffice currently doesn’t support all of the MS Word features)
The other side to this is linux & linux application's user base grows, as it has successfully been doing without MS's "helP". Windows user's realize they don't need to spend 500 bux for an office application, they go grab openoffice for windows and all is good on the farm. Lord knows, Windows user's love to go to web-sites and download exe and double click, next, next, next, they're all admin's IIRC MS made a word doc viewer in windows, a powerpoint viewer, and a journal viewer as free downloads for people who use windows but don't own office. One could reason that they could (or the openoffice community could) simply make an openoffice viewer just the same for their customer's if they wanted to. Still doesn't justify this deal.

* SAMBA doesn’t suck anymore. In fact, if you have a printer shared on the network, all Linux and Windows computers can see it and install the drivers without any hitches. Cross-platform filesharing is seamless.

Or nfs could be ported over to windows like ext2 and ext3 file systems are. And like openoffice, windows users can have fun with double click, next next next. Still doesn't justify the deal.

* More developers start writing stuff in .NET/MONO for both Linux and Windows, natively.
Drop the mono and write something else. There's plenty of ways to 'skin the cat'.

In general, windows user's are very accustomed to going out on the web and installing them. They are already running as administrator by default LOL. There are many app's ported over, GIMP, Gaim, etc. Many Windows user's use these products already. I still don't see the necessity for this deal for linux.

I'd really like to see the patent violations, both way's, Novell owe's this to the community if they want to ride the back of other's on the way to the bank.
Old 11-06-2006, 01:45 AM   #50
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Lord knows, Windows user's love to go to web-sites and download exe and double click, next, next, next, they're all admin's
My lips are sealed.Touche
Old 11-06-2006, 06:41 AM   #51
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This deal between Microsoft and Novell will NOT kill GNU/Linux, however it is possible that Novell could be violating the GNU/GPL and could possibly lose the right to distribute SuSE (if Novell is not very very careful how they dance with the devil)...

i recommend users of Novell's Suse find another distro to suit your GNU/Linux needs...
Old 11-06-2006, 06:42 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by KimVette
This is flat-out wrong here in America. Why? Our USPTO has been rubber-stamping patents on prior art for a couple of decades now, leaving the mess for the courts to sort out.
Which is exactly why I had this:

Originally Posted by Hangdog42
Note that I'm assuming that the patent was valid in the first place, which is a HUGE assumption.
The USPTO is a sorry excuse for an organization and has been falling down in all sorts of fields, not just software.

What doesn't change is that assuming the patent examiner had bothered to do their job, and there was no prior art and the patent is non-obvious, then releasing code under the GPL would render it un-patentable.
Old 11-06-2006, 09:36 AM   #53
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Would like to be "wary with optimism" as another blogger puts it, but.... even putting Microsoft's past aside there is NO reason whatsoever for a capitalist corporation to involve itself with market competition and NOT have an ulterior motive. It just isn’t done.

Several possibilities exist:

At this point in time the linux desktop user base is too small and spread out for MS to do anything about legally (just like they frown on but can’t afford to prosecute individuals who use pirated MS software), but enterprise editions are ripe for the picking somewhere down the line. MS can afford to lie in wait for some “manufactured breach of contract” on the part of Novell and then… poof! Novell who?

Another reason for MS interest in Linux might be that China, India, Africa and Russia are now GIGANTIC emerging markets for an operating system. MS knows they can’t sell copies of Wxp or Vista for $100 a pop, or they could try to sell a stripped version of Vista for $15, but I think MS has left a sour taste in the mouths of most of the emerging industrialized world. However, if they can cloak themselves in the skin of Suse Enterprise Linux and can distribute it for a modest fee with the “solid” backing of MS/Novell with some new “cool’ MS product bundled with it....well, I'm not sure any Novell/ Microsoft stockholders would be too broken up over that.

In addition, with the Gates foundation “buying” the hearts and minds of these people with donated hospitals and schools, gee….. I wonder if this will help the Indians, Africans, Chinese and Russians to make up their minds about which operating system to buy. Remember that in countries such as these, the general public has WAY less access to unbiased information to make an informed decision, and therefore will be at the mercy of state sanctioned directives to use Microsoft Linux.

How will this happen? Microsoft will go into one of these dirt poor countries with a bunch of "free" schools and hospitals in tow, and in return, the ruling power brokers will agree to insert Microsoft/Linux as the defacto and state sanctioned “ministry of health,education, and welfare”.

Microsoft’s mastery of manipulation is legendary. Their marketing and legal departments are going to use and abuse the naivete of the user community to the point of hallucination. They are going to massage and manipulate the public perception of the relationship between Windows and Linux to the point where most users will never know Linux ever existed. Someone mentioned that Novell is a big boy and has gone into this with their eyes wide open and that they have experienced lawyers who are used to dealing with MS and that they wouldn't let themselves be screwed and blah, blah.... That's the first good chuckle I've had all day. MS has been able to bamboozle, twink and hoodwink the patent process, the Justice Department and most of the worlds user base for the last 20 years. What special powers does Novell think they have that will keep them from ending up as a brown smear in the MS underpants?

Don’t have a crystal ball, but WHATEVER MS has planned for Linux… it ain’t good for the OSS model. There's no way MS is going to use one Linux distro to line its own pockets **AND** leave the competition alone. Even if they don't go after other distros in the legal sense, all they have to do is drop a few million on national TV ads implying that the "other" distros are based on home-brewed bug ridden software that is written by and for smelly, geeky nerds who can't get a date on Saturday night. (kind of like the Mac ads) The general PC crowd WILL fall for that lock, stock, and barrel, because linux already has a shaky reputation with the average Comps-r-us desktop user crowd.

Hope I'm wrong but....

Last edited by Trio3b; 11-06-2006 at 03:15 PM.
Old 11-06-2006, 11:06 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by andrewd18
if MS holds up their end of the deal.
~~ Andrew D.

Yeh right.... since when has M$ ever upheld anything,
Bulmer is a worse dictator than bush and wont be happy untill it is illigal to use anything but windows and he will do that any way that he can from sueing teh hell out of people to assasinating them (and i have no doubt that he wioudl do that if he though he coudl get away with it....)

after all he has teh US govermet eating out of his hand allready by threting to revoke their windows licencs if tehy displease him.... somthing taht woudl bust teh goverment....

why do you think that the german goverment is moving to linux with most of teh rest of europe following or consiering folowing.

when he overthows teh us goverment he will be worse than saddam ever was,

i am staying with suse for all of the next mounth or so untll i build my new box, then i will be looking at FC6
Old 11-06-2006, 01:04 PM   #55
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Should it be called MicroSUSE now rather than openSUSE?
Old 11-06-2006, 02:04 PM   #56
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Trio3b's comment made me think about years ago, I was in NY City on some business.

I had to go to the World Trade Center's and was going to hop on the 'path train' a small train that connects to New Jersey. Anyway, just over the stair cases leading down to the 'tube trains' as NY City people call them, there were huge signs that MS had posted, actually they were all over the city. Well, the signs said something to the effect of 'Report Your Boss For Software Piracy, Get A Reward'.

Now, granted to the extent of all possible logic, one does fully agree with that; especially given the fact that open office or the like, was not even a concept to the best of my knowledge, or at the time. However, it does make for an akward situation to actually do it. I asked myself 'would people really risk their jobs', you see at the time, the US government really did haven't laws in effect for whistle blowers, fortunately now they do. Just look at Enron. Now I wonder if we'll see a day that signs would say "Report Your Boss For Not Using MS Recommended Linux, Get A Reward".

Heck, maybe all this fuss is about MS trying to defend patents on Solitaire. We ALL KNOW that is the most used business application, ROFL.
Old 11-06-2006, 02:07 PM   #57
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More like Micro$u$E.

It's also strange that Novell would make such a pact, considering that they were just trying to go against Microsoft a few years ago:
Old 11-06-2006, 09:03 PM   #58
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Novell, Oracle, Microsoft - three different corporations that come from the same cloth of Unethical Greed, Customer Manipulation, and Unlimited Gaul!!
Old 11-06-2006, 11:03 PM   #59
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How about seeing Windows running on a Linux version in a couple of years leaving Microsoft to concentrate on selling apps etc.
Old 11-07-2006, 09:12 AM   #60
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I read your blog. I'll admit I'm one of those who you think should be running Debian and Ice Weasel, and hence do not share your outlook and optimism. But in addition to my overall disagreement with your blog, I believe you are wrong on a couple issues about the patent non-assert.

I've read a bunch of articles on this, so I can't point to the specific link, but I definitely remember somebody from MS explaining that other than the exceptions carved for Suse, Novell, and its customers, the only non-assert pledge was to non-commercial "developers" who don't distribute. I read this to mean that they may develop for their personal use but may not, among other things, contribute to a project, which is why I put the word developer in quotes (nothing against developers themselves).

Further, my understanding is currently that much of the work on the large, visible, FOSS projects is done by paid developers who work for a variety of companies that make use of the software, not just those who work for RH and Madriva. So the threat would still seem to be hanging over most developers. And it is not simply that RH and Madriva chose not to go this route.

And now that Novell has signed this pact with MS, when MS evaluates the risks of suing, it no longer has to be concerned about counter-suites from Novell. And while MS has for several years been implicitly threatening to sue people for patent infringement, this new situation just gives it more credibility and visibility. And Steve Ballmer wasted no time in availing himself of the opportunity to threaten people who use Linux other than "in the MS approved way."

Novell may well experience some short term benefits from this, but I do think it is a slap in the face to the people who have contributed the code Novell now distributes. And I fully expect that some time in the future MS will spit out Novell's bones.


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