CyberTech Rambler

November 23, 2006

Novell paying extortion money to Microsoft

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 2:40 pm

Novell said, in its open letter to open source community and Microsoft confirmed, that Novell does not believe Linux infringes Microsoft IP. Thus, why did Novell paid 40 million dollars to Microsoft to protect its customers from being sued by Microsoft? Apparently, for “peace of mind“. This approach sounds familiar to you? In the part of world where I come, we call this “protection racket”.

PJ of Groklaw says that Novell is saying one thing to the open source community, but doing the opposite in business market in UK and Germany. I can see the rational behind her arguement but will draw my own conclusion in a few weeks time. I will give, and hope you will give as well, Novell the benefit of doubt because the timeline suggests that UK and Germany is working on the script their Head Office in America gave them. Nothing sinister here, the machinary that got started on that faithful day needs time for that day’s event to filter down, and this week sounds about right for UK and Germany to start pumping adverts about the deal. Novell might have a change of heart recently and it takes time for that to filter down. Thus, I give them a few more weeks before concluding that Novell is a hypocrite.

Bruce Peren jumps on the bandwagon with an open letter to protest the Microsoft-Novell deal. I considered signing it but back off because I find the wording too strong. However I will not object to anyone signing it. The point he covered (minus the rhetoric) are valid and if Mr Hovsepian of Novell did not see it already, then Novell deserves to sink. I am from Asia. In Asia, we do not normally stand up and start shoutint/protest but approach the person personally and voice our concern. After that, we make sure they get the message by changing the way we deal with them. That is what will eventually get their attention and is the true punishment for the deviant deed, if the concensus is this deal is indeed deviant.

As such, I hope Novell’s suppliers and open source software buyer will take the appropriate action to show their displeassure. This is the language businessman everywhere understands. They are trying to impose business talk on open source community and in this case, lets demonstrate our skill in business talk as well.

Novell, at present, have no fear about its access to the kernel as there is no way Linus can pump it to version 3 of GPL, even if he wants. However, other surrounding softwares that makes up the Linux that we know are likely to move to version 3 of GPL. Free Software Foundation has said that that version should to exclude this type of deal? To keep this deal, Novell will have to fork any software that converts to GPL v3. Does it have the technical knowhow?Yes. It is doing well with SuSE Linux. But do Novell has the capacity? I do not think so. This is the business language Novell’s top brass understands. Let’s talk to them in language they understand.

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