[lug] Bruce Perens's open letter to Novell

Ferdinand Schmid fschmid at archenergy.com
Wed Nov 22 23:46:22 MST 2006

I am disappointed that this agreement led to a war within the Linux community rather working together.  Novell cannot sign any rights to Microsoft that it doesn't own.  So the agreement is limited to Novell's patents versus Microsoft's patents.  gzip is excluded no matter if it is part of Windows (whit it is) or if it is part of Novell's product.

I had hoped that this agreement would finally lead to Linux products that become interoperable with Microsoft products.  Most small to mid-size companies who aren't strictly Microsoft shops depend on making their Linux systems interact with Microsoft systems.  Personally I feel that I had been on the front lines between both technologies for the past 8 years (of using Linux in business).  Why not hope for a version of Samba that really interacts with Windows clients without constant babysitting?  Why not hope that you can run a Windows XEN guest on your Linux XEN host?

There is no reason why RedHat couldn't also enter into a collaboration agreement with Microsoft rather than starting a war among Linux supporters.  If RedHat would have supported its customers well enough to keep their enterprise customers happy then there Oracle wouldn't have decided to take matters into their own hands.  Oracle is a major kernel contributor just like Novell and RedHat.  All of these companies have extensive Linux expertise and should work together.  

Just a few months ago RedHat scolded Novell for including XEN in its enterprise OS only to announce later that they were now also including XEN as part of their enterprise OS.  RedHat has become a publicly traded company like those other (currently hated) competitors.  What they primarily care about is their stock holder earnings.

So let's hope that this Novell agreement will allow Linux to enter companies that were in the past unable to deploy it due to interoperability or legal concerns.  Let's hope that Linux will finally enter industries that ran pure Microsoft shops in the past.  If Linux vendors go about killing each other then Microsoft won.  Let's not let that happen.


Disclaimer:  This is my personal opinion!

Ferdinand Schmid
Architectural Energy Corporation
Office: 303-459-7431

----- Original Message -----
From: lug-bounces at lug.boulder.co.us on behalf of Daniel Webb 
Sent: Wed, 11/22/2006 10:43pm
To: Boulder (Colorado) Linux Users Group -- General Mailing List 
Subject: [lug] Bruce Perens's open letter to Novell

I'm not sure what the feeling is locally about the Novell-Microsoft deal, but
it seems to me that it *is* a big deal.  Nobody spends 1/3 of a billion
dollars without expecting *a lot* in return.  I simply can't draw any other
conclusion than that Microsoft's expected "return" is significant harm to our
community.  Bruce's letter and some of his recent articles do a very good job
of explaining how, and why Novell is unethical in playing games with legal
loopholes to get around the agreement they make by distributing GPL software.
This is an open letter he just wrote on the subject, and I have added my name.


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