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13 Reasons To Celebrate the New MS-Novell Pact 40

Posted by Hemos
from the well-maybe-good-reasons dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The recently announced agreement between Microsoft Corporation and Novell, Inc. has resulted in much concern that it could be harmful for Linux and other free software. However, the agreement itself, as well as its timing and comments made by Microsoft executives about it, may actually be a very good thing — and perhaps even worthy of celebration!"
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13 Reasons To Celebrate the New MS-Novell Pact

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  • Needs More FUD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Monday November 27, 2006 @08:32AM (#17000184) Journal
    Whoever wrote this article lives in a fantasy land full of gum drop trees and puppy dog kisses.

    Not only are these points weak, they're a stretch. And number four is laughable,
    (4) The agreement and accompanying threats are serving as additional bad publicity in the free software community for an increasingly troubled Microsoft, and the effect will be to further motivate developers and users of free software. People do not like to be threatened or bullied, and they can react strongly to it.
    That's right, folks, this agreement will make developers so angry that they'll triumph in the face of Microsoft telling them they're all patent infringers. Yep, sound argument to me. Let's see here ... SAMBA developers very happy [slashdot.org] & OpenSUSE devs happy [slashdot.org]. In case you couldn't tell, I was being sarcastic.

    And also, some of the footnotes are pure comedic genius,
    Benefitting Microsoft could be a good thing, even in the eyes of many advocates of free software, if it helps that company to reallocate its massive resources to emphasize developing truly innovative and quality products instead of attempting (increasingly in vain) to protect a doomed monopoly. These resources include its large number of very talented employees, some of whom are our friends and neighbors.
    It's so funny because the way I see it, this was the perfect way to hobble Linux & threaten all the application development on it so that the competition for Windows dwindles & therefore they can produce pure crap and we'll have to use it. Please explain yourself, Linux Information Project.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ajehals (947354)
      This line made me think of something I hadn't thought to consider before (excuse my rather twisted mental process... and appologies for potentially adding to any MS generated FFUD - it is not intended.)
      Anyway - the line:

      That's right, folks, this agreement will make developers so angry that they'll triumph in the face of Microsoft telling them they're all patent infringers.

      My thought:

      Setting aside for a moment the fact that software patents are not applicable everywhere, and some other points such as
      • Hmmm... After all I am not so sure anymore, that it is about M$'s patents, but about the ones held by Novell. Maybe M$ is trying to bypass the GPL. Sounds strange, right? See it this way: Novell agreed not to sue Microsoft for Patent violation (this is about Ideas, not source code), so if Microsoft wants to include patents held by Linux corporations, now they can use the ones held by Novell, and they have a reference implementation inside GPL'ed Software. They may not simply cut'n'paste it, but they can r
    • by grommit (97148)
      I'm missing something here, what does OpenSUSE devs being annoyed at Mark Shuttleworth of Ubuntu have to do with your argument?

      At any rate, the article has some merit. In a previous Slashdot linked story, at least one CIO was quoted as saying that this agreement has caused them to not consider Microsoft for a new project that their company is working on.
  • by El Lobo (994537)
    Long gone are the days when developing or using a system was such a simply thing like pressing the power button and enjoying the ride. Unfortunatly people these days are more involved in the political side of the things than in the same process of joy. So for many peoples these days their holy words are "no politics, no joy". MS and Novel have a pact? So what? This will tbe the end of MS? No freaking way! The end of Linux? of course not! So is this whole FUD wave a way to satisfy the politian than most peo
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 27, 2006 @08:49AM (#17000256)
    The reaction the open source community finally arrives at as a whole will be an indication of wether or not it has matured to the point where it can function as a legitimate entity in the business world.

    There are three distinct reactions to Microsoft's blatant and utterly un-subtle attack on Linux:

    1) Swift and decisive public action sending a clear message to the computing and business worlds that this aggression will not stand, man. Novell software and patent minefields like mono are purged from all open source distros and entities.

    2) Wallowing in ignorant self-delusion that maybe it will all go away.

    3) Self-defeating and inane +5 Insightful masturbatory posts letting everyone know just what a open minded and reasonable person you are for trying to look on the bright side of this frontal assault on Linux. "Hey, Microsoft can't be ALWAYS evil...maybe they just want to be friends!"

    Read groklaw.net, get informed. If you aren't scared to hell about the long term implications of this attack on Linux through patents, you haven't read enough about it.

    The time for sticking your head in the sand is over. Microsoft is in open war with Linux. And no matter what you think of their products, Microsoft execs live to destroy. And they have you directly in their sights. Are you going to stand there and be slaughtered like a dumb animal or wake up and get informed and take decisive action?

    • What sort of "decisive action" do you suggest I take?
    • by xtracto (837672)
      The reaction the open source community finally arrives at as a whole will be an indication of wether or not it has matured to the point where it can function as a legitimate entity in the business world.

      Fortunately for a lot of us, open source is not linux and linux is not open source. And what one company does to "fight" my righ of givinvg away for free my code (not that I do it, I like being payed for what I program).

      I have always thought that, whatever happens with specific companies that are using open
    • What can Microsoft do? Sue Torvalds? Sue some particular programmer with little income that violated their patents? Sue one of the commercial Linux vendors? Who can Microsoft sue or buy to stop Linux? No-one.
      All MS can do is spread FUD. Linux isn't dBase, Linux isn't DOS, Linux isn't FoxPro. It can't just be acquired.

      Microsoft Corp. vs the one thing they can't buy and actually have to compete with? I fail to see the threat.
    • If you aren't scared to hell about the long term implications of this attack on Linux through patents, you haven't read enough about it

      In the 1800s they had a law in England that forced every self-propelled vehicle on the road to have a horseman precede it waving a red flag. Many historians argue that this law had a strong effect in delaying the invention of automobiles. I don't think so. The automobile was invented as soon as a suitable engine was developed. The boilers and steam engines of the mid-1800s

    • The reaction the open source community finally arrives at as a whole will be an indication of wether or not it has matured to the point where it can function as a legitimate entity in the business world.

      Your comment does not parse. Groups are not individuals. The "open source community" will never be able to "function as a legitimate entity in the business world." because as far as I can tell, the "open source community" does not particularly care about the business world. If they did, they would not be wri
  • There is just one single reason why you should not comment or give this link to other people, the more traffic this gets the more of these "news" posts we get on slashdot. I for one do not welcome our FUD overlords.
  • by Chaffar (670874) on Monday November 27, 2006 @08:51AM (#17000270)
    13 reasons to celebrate when people commit suicide:
    1. more food for us (unless the person was a fashion model).
    2. more jobs for us (unless the person was unemployed)
    3. more housing available to us (unless the person was a hobo)
    4. less mating opportunities available to the opposite sex (unless the person was just as much a loser as you)
    5. it gives cops and forensics experts a job
    6. it helps Hollywood plotlines
    7. helps the environment (less strain on resources, and the body will eventually be used as fertilizer)
    8. There's a 19.8% [infoplease.com] chance that he isn't white (unless you aren't white)
    9. Supermarket lines will potentially be shorter.
    10. There will probably be free food available at the funeral.
    11. Dressing up in black suits is always cool.
    12. You could take a hair comb, attach a LED to one end of it, and act as if you're from MIB.
    13. If there weren't any suicides, then this list wouldn't have existed.
  • by Foofoobar (318279) on Monday November 27, 2006 @12:13PM (#17002436)
    Microsoft has ever so recently started creating it's own 'pro-windows' Linux websites and putting up propoganda. Linfo.org is one of those sites. It's registered to an email of ips@connectexpress.com who do promotions for companies. The registrant is from Bellevue, Washington where half of the Microsoft campus is (Redmond is LITERALLY across the street).

    The phone number used for registering this site goes to an answering service. This is nothing more than a propoganda site sponsored by Microsoft
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by What'sInAName (115383)

      Umm, complete bullshit. The site you mentioned was formed by the Bellevue Linux Users group (or at least hosted there.) See their site here:

      http://www.bellevuelinux.org/index.html [bellevuelinux.org]

      ConnectExpress.com is one of their sponsors.
      • by Foofoobar (318279)
        Excuse my skepticism. I've never heard of you guys; I live in Seattle and go to the Seattle Java Users Group, PHP Meetup and a few others and have NEVER heard of the Bellevue Linux Users group.

        Not saying you don't exist, it's just that saying you are a Linux users group in the heart of Microsith-town is like saying you are the Iraqi Democracy Committe in the heart of Baghdad and saying how great the American invasion was for Iraq. A sensible person is going to have his doubts as to your credibility.

        Ju
        • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

          by N. P. Coward (953833)

          Excuse my skepticism. I've never heard of you guys; I live in Seattle and go to the Seattle Java Users Group, PHP Meetup and a few others and have NEVER heard of the Bellevue Linux Users group.

          You live there? What are you doing December 12th?

          Barnes & Noble Downtown Bellevue 106th Ave. NE, Bellevue, WA (425) 451-8463

          Go check 'em out. Report back to us what you find. (One darkly clothed guy with a win XP laptop surreptitiously uploading photos of anyone searching for the Bellevue LUG?)

          See: ht [bellevuelinux.org]

          • by Foofoobar (318279)
            I'm more familiar with the greater Seattle Linux Users Group. In reading some of the members, one of the guys who shows up at these meetings started the PHP Users Group and when I showed up at one found a guy who only wanted to talk about how .NET rocked and PHP sucked ass. While being a LAMP developer in the process of converting to Tomcat, I wouldn't argue that PHP sucks (as all languages suck on some level) but to have a users group to talk about a competing product is very off putting ( I won't mention

        • Actually, I'm not part of their group. I just did a few minutes of research with google. It's probably not surprising if you haven't heard of them; the greater Seattle area is after all quite large.

          BTW, was there some pro-MS, and/or anti-open source FUD on that website that raised your suspicions? I didn't see any, but I only took a quick look. Most of what I read sounded pretty pro-Linux to me.
    • Yes, this article is clearly pure FUD. It is apparently a creation of Bellevue Linux Users Group [bellevuelinux.org]. And it is an open secret here in the Seattle area that Bellevue Linux Users Group was started by Microsoft and that several of its members are Microsoft employees. Taking over SuSE, starting their own LUGs -- what will those clever folks in Redmond think of next? By the way, does anybody know if Microsoft is also doing this in other cities?
    • by vojtech (565680) <vojtech@suse.cz> on Monday November 27, 2006 @05:55PM (#17007806)
      I would seriously doubt that.

      According to the linfo.org pages, linfo is a project of the Bellevue Linux Users Group [bellevuelinux.org].

      Checking out whois isn't always the most reliable way to figure out who is behind a site.

      Would you expect this [linfo.org] on a Microsoft-owned website?

      (And yes, I do work for Novell. And I don't have much of a reason to defend the site, since most of the reasons listed don't expect Novell to survive, only to serve as a bad example.)

  • With the IBM and Novell news, unfortunately LINUX is in EXACTLY the same position UNIX was almost ten years ago. IBM, and Microsoft/Novell have effectively fragmented the LINUX industry, and potentially weakened Open Source in general. Following history, both Novell and Red Hat will continue to add value, and further distance their distributions from each other, and other distro's such as Ubuntu, Debian, etc ... Didn't we learn anything from the UNIX/Windows wars?
    • I hate to break it to you, but the linux community was fragmented A LONGGG time before Microsoft and/or IBM started paying attention to it. The different distros, each with their own little tweaks and changes ensure that Linux is always be fragmented. This is healthy (IMHO) because it reduces monoculture and encourages innovation. If you are not a power user and want to be able to use a stable distrobution, then go with Redhat or SuSe. As long as you keep your home partition separate from the root partition
      • I agree for the most part. But there is still one very large question mark, what will the ISV's do? Like it or not, software availability drives the OS, not the other way around. Most large businesses are looking for prepackaged applications, either not having the resources, or the time to write from scratch. So the dilemma for ISV's is what distro do I write to?
        For a while there was hope that controlling the LINUX kernel would reduce fragmentation. Instead now the market becomes even more fragmented, with
  • I oppose Novell's agreement with Microsoft and I will abandon the SUSE sphere soon. I am about to join the Ubuntu cosmos (without this meaning that I enjoyed their recent binary driver announcement, but that's another story). Note to Debian developers : I would install exclusively Debian on all of my machines and servers if it was officially 64bit and had more updated software.
    • by bensch128 (563853)
      Hah, we install all of our servers with Debian testing and don't give a rats ass if it's "officially" 64bit or not. 99% of the linux applications are not written to take advantage of 64bit (unless the compiler is a hell of a lot more powerful then it really is) so whatever small performance increase 64bit could provide in terms of server application (mostly code compiling) doesn't really matter...

      Cheers
      Ben
    • Ubuntu is good. Don't know about Suse though. I don't like the idea of Microsoft and Novell striking a deal at all. It's almost betraying open source. Besides, who using Linux would want to use Microsoft products anyway?

...when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. - Fred Brooks, Jr.

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