Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 8th Nov 2007 17:33 UTC, submitted by WillM
In the News One year after sealing their surprise alliance, Novell and Microsoft have announced an expansion of their technical collaboration to 'link together the existing Windows and Linux frameworks'. The firms will extend their existing collaboration to focus on virtualisation, standards-based management, directory and identity federation and document format compatibility. As part of this process, Microsoft said that both companies are 'now working closely' at the Microsoft and Novell Interoperability Lab in Massachusetts.
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RE[2]: Good for Novell!
by Adurbe on Thu 8th Nov 2007 19:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Good for Novell!"
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

There ought to be a philosophy behind Linux and many believe Novell has betrayed it.


You keep your moral high ground, I would rather get work done.

If this partnership helps me do that, I'm all for it

Reply Parent Score: 16

RE[3]: Good for Novell!
by JMcCarthy on Thu 8th Nov 2007 19:18 in reply to "RE[2]: Good for Novell!"
JMcCarthy Member since:
2005-08-12

Why I miss the good ol' days and hope Linux is a failure gaining desktop market share. It'll still be a good desktop for me though ;) All this rif-raff is harmful to the ideals that got us here in the first place.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[4]: Good for Novell!
by IanSVT on Thu 8th Nov 2007 19:22 in reply to "RE[3]: Good for Novell!"
IanSVT Member since:
2005-07-06

All this rif-raff is harmful to the ideals that got us here in the first place.


Keep in mind, much of this "riff-raff" helped developers to get you/us/we here in the first place.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[4]: Good for Novell!
by l3v1 on Fri 9th Nov 2007 07:11 in reply to "RE[3]: Good for Novell!"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

Why I miss the good ol' days and hope Linux is a failure gaining desktop market share. It'll still be a good desktop for me though ;)


I don't know if we're thinking about the same thing, but I also miss something, which is basically the by coders for coders attitude, without the "enemy" keeping an eye on it ["enemy" ~ closed source company competitors]. In the days which most of today's users would call the dark middle ages of Linux [which they've never seen since they're mostly new Linux users] I mostly felt the developments were great, I loved what I saw, and I wasn't held back by an unpolished GUI and by frequent need to solve issues by hand, since the underlying stuff was nice. These days the line of development mostly is driven by mass average user "demands" which is not a bad thing in itself [well, depending on who those "users" are], since the polish is nice to have, still, we just keep fading the whole Linux/FOSS concept. The MS-raised generation gives less and less f*ck about the ideas behind Linux&co. , and the "get the work done" approach is also strong, but I don't like it being exclusive. You can get the work done and at the same time follow the FOSS ideas, it's no magic.

These days deals like the Novell-MS pact raises less and less eyebrows, moreover there are masses who congratulae the ideas and the prospects what these deals project. This feels sometimes very disturbing, since it reflects their sometimes unrealistic hopes about the possible outcomes of such an agreement, and is not really based on the past behavior of the agreeing parties.

Thing is, and maybe I'm on drugs that I don't know about, I wish we'll see a change in the landscape at least as changing as Linux's appearance caused in the last 1.5 decade, and soon.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[3]: Good for Novell!
by cyclops on Thu 8th Nov 2007 19:22 in reply to "RE[2]: Good for Novell!"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"You keep your moral high ground, I would rather get work done.

If this partnership helps me do that, I'm all for it"

Why is being moral, and getting work done mutually exclusive. I have yet to see any *benefits* to Linux from this partnership, I actually see Linux being threated by Microsoft *weekly*. I can only see possible short term benefits to Novell, at the expense of Linux as a whole.

Although its about defending Novells and Microsoft's corrupt actions by calling everyone fan boys or 16-year olds or religious whatsisnames. When its about Microsoft Making unsubstantiated threated against *ME* personally.

Of course if you *really* want to talk interoperability which I think is what you mean. Why doesn't Microsoft *release* their specifications years ago, at the request of the EU no less, rather than delay for years.

Is there anything new here? GPL3 blah blah blah

Edited 2007-11-08 19:25

Reply Parent Score: 12

RE[4]: Good for Novell!
by Adurbe on Thu 8th Nov 2007 20:23 in reply to "RE[3]: Good for Novell!"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

don't get me wrong MS opening up their formats would be the ideal solution! However, going by history, this is sadly unlikely to happen.

with regards to the threats, we do not know if they ARE unsubstantiated and this is where the FUD comes into play. What needs to happen is for someone to call their bluff.

The trouble with this is if it turns out they are NOT unsubstantiated then linux in the business world would crumble overnight. I also have no doubt that if it looked like the case was going against Microsoft there would be an 'out of court settlement' so the judgment was never passed, thereby allowing the FUD to continue..

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Good for Novell!
by butters on Fri 9th Nov 2007 01:16 in reply to "RE[2]: Good for Novell!"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

You keep your moral high ground, I would rather get work done.


Can't you see the practical argument that underlies the morality?

For many years, Microsoft has prevented competitors from creating software that interacts with their software and the data it creates. They have embraced not only proprietary software (which I can tolerate) but also proprietary interfaces, protocols, and formats.

There is a moral argument against this, but I believe that the practical argument is much stronger. For years Microsoft has impeded your ability to get your work done by preventing competitors from delivering potentially superior drop-in replacements. This is part of a cynical market strategy that assumes that customers won't switch to competing products if it requires a disruptive infrastructure transition and a problematic data migration.

By radically lower customers' expectations of interoperability, Microsoft now receives enthusiastic praise for any amount of cooperation. That Novell had to play rotten patent games with Microsoft in order to gain highly limited cooperation on interoperability is absurd. The same offer has not been extended to Red Hat because they refuse to validate the false relationship between patents and interoperability.

Absent from this interoperability agreement is some really critical sticking points such as Exchange. Microsoft proprietized corporate email, and they just won't let go. This is an artificial barrier to competition. Undocumented protocols should be illegal in the absence of an open-source implementation. This isn't a philosophical or moral argument. It's purely practical.

If you really want to get your work done, then you should demand that Microsoft unconditionally release royalty-free specifications for its software products. Otherwise you're not getting the the quality of software you deserve, because potential competitors are being stifled. Microsoft has no right to pick and choose its competition. That's your job as a customer. Nor should Microsoft have the right to charge for the privilege of interoperability. Otherwise there is no pretense of a free market for software.

Microsoft has good products and plenty of smart developers. What are they afraid of? Why don't they want to compete unless its on their terms? Why are vendors like Novell so willing to agree to an unequal playing field? And why are people so delighted to see token cooperation from a company that has so brazenly refused to compete to the detriment of software users everywhere?

Reply Parent Score: 23

RE[4]: Good for Novell!
by mnem0 on Fri 9th Nov 2007 10:10 in reply to "RE[3]: Good for Novell!"
mnem0 Member since:
2006-03-23


For many years, Microsoft has prevented competitors from creating software that interacts with their software and the data it creates. They have embraced not only proprietary software (which I can tolerate) but also proprietary interfaces, protocols, and formats.

There is a moral argument against this, but I believe that the practical argument is much stronger. For years Microsoft has impeded your ability to get your work done by preventing competitors from delivering potentially superior drop-in replacements. This is part of a cynical market strategy that assumes that customers won't switch to competing products if it requires a disruptive infrastructure transition and a problematic data migration.

By radically lower customers' expectations of interoperability, Microsoft now receives enthusiastic praise for any amount of cooperation. That Novell had to play rotten patent games with Microsoft in order to gain highly limited cooperation on interoperability is absurd. The same offer has not been extended to Red Hat because they refuse to validate the false relationship between patents and interoperability.

Absent from this interoperability agreement is some really critical sticking points such as Exchange. Microsoft proprietized corporate email, and they just won't let go. This is an artificial barrier to competition. Undocumented protocols should be illegal in the absence of an open-source implementation. This isn't a philosophical or moral argument. It's purely practical.

If you really want to get your work done, then you should demand that Microsoft unconditionally release royalty-free specifications for its software products. Otherwise you're not getting the the quality of software you deserve, because potential competitors are being stifled. Microsoft has no right to pick and choose its competition. That's your job as a customer. Nor should Microsoft have the right to charge for the privilege of interoperability. Otherwise there is no pretense of a free market for software.

Microsoft has good products and plenty of smart developers. What are they afraid of? Why don't they want to compete unless its on their terms? Why are vendors like Novell so willing to agree to an unequal playing field? And why are people so delighted to see token cooperation from a company that has so brazenly refused to compete to the detriment of software users everywhere?


Excellent comment! I agree completely with every single point you make. I think you just described _exactly_ what the real problem is, and I'm very glad you took the time to write it down in such a clear manner.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: Good for Novell!
by karl on Fri 9th Nov 2007 10:39 in reply to "RE[3]: Good for Novell!"
karl Member since:
2005-07-06

butters,

Excellently written, and spot on. I would however like to add one thing to which you said.

The propieraty applications, the propietary protocols, the difficulties and hindrances which are cause by their usage and the resultant effects on data- that data is held hostage by specific applications, and is only accessible in ways foreseen by the application developers, who wish to maintain their position, and that data exchange is controlled and confined-these issues which plague every corporation and confound end-users, is to a very large extent the raison d'etre of the entire propieraty software market.

Propietary software is an economy, in the first instance an economy of usage. That the data formats were propietary, that the protocols used were propietary was the initial impetus for the creation of the 3rd-party aftermarket for propietary software. Thousand of companies sprung up with products and services to overcome the imprisonment of data -to make it possible to use the files from one propietary application in another.

By artificially delimiting interoperability, compatibility etc Microsoft and other major founders of the propietary software economy(Adobe, Lotus, Novell) created a rich ecosystem of corporations which proved quite successful at monetizing all aspects data access,useage and movement.

The 3rd party after market for propietary software arose like a new organism in a new ecosphere created by the artificial delimitations of software usage and exchange-such artificial delimitations were the mark of the products, so companies like Microsoft made money on Microsoft Word only working good with Microsoft Word documents. So at once companies championed such delimitations as strengths of their products and left the interoperability and interchangeability to smaller propietary applications by 3rd parties.

The major parties of the propietary software industry knew that through the use of propietary API's,formats, protocols and source, that they were creating of rich ecosphere for 3rd parties to workaround and mitigate the negatives of this propietary system. In fact this entire system was based up lisencing agreements which rendered access to propietary API's to be able to write software to overcome the softwares own propietarieness. Thus ensued a gigantic symbiotic ecosphere with large hosts and thousands and thousands of parasites.

Interestingly enough the 3rd party aftermarket for propietary software was but one of two answers to the self-imposed limitations(ie. the artificial delimitations) of the propietary market-the other being FOSS. In this light it is quite easy to understand Novells deal with Microsoft. Does it really count as surprising?

1) firstly Novell doing deals with Microsoft is nothing new. In fact Novell came into being by filling a void in the product offering of Microsoft and purchased licences from Microsoft to write software for their operating systems to fill this void. 2) Microsoft has a vested interest in this propietary market-that FOSS had been resistant to attempts to monetize interoperability, instead choosing to reverse engineer protocols, has been a continuous thorn in Microsofts side. 3) I can even imagine their being people at Novell which would love to see Novell as being the gateway between FOSS and the propierty world(and I am sure that Microsoft sold these deals in this terminology).

Novell may have passed on an opportunity to renegotiate the negotiation grounds in their deal with Microsoft. FOSS offers something which simply cannot be bought. Yet the worst that Novell has done in the deal is to reaffirm the propietary market. And potentially something good might come of it: because FOSS has unfettered trading of code via the GPL, many, if not all, of the new offerings resultant of the Microsoft-Novell deal will be usable by all users of free software. If this potential pans out the result would be an actual undermining of the propietary market.

So at worst these deals just signal same-old, same-old, or they could potentially work to weaken the propietary market stronghold.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Good for Novell!
by marcgo on Fri 9th Nov 2007 10:08 in reply to "RE[2]: Good for Novell!"
marcgo Member since:
2007-11-09

Your 2 sentences are the paradigm of the blind horse. People thinking like you, which are a vast majority, are the cause of the monopolization of basic IT.

You keep your moral high ground, I would rather get work done.


Most of free software users and advocates are for
getting work done. But they tend to be quiet, while you may only hear the noisiest ones.

You know, open source is mainly about get some very basic use from *your* computer : browsing the web, sending email, writing documents, etc. Not about designing aerospace components, or fortune 1000 management software.

It's like if you could only buy bread made from company X flour. Not about eating the most expensive caviar. Basic things.

We are in 2007, and still these simple things are monopolized by that nice company.



If this partnership helps me do that, I'm all for it


At any cost? This is a bit like saying as long as I can eat meat, I don't mind if there are slaves producing it.

Look, if Novell and MS bring out some useful agreement, I won't oppose. But the history of MS partnerships have only been on the opposite direction.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Good for Novell!
by Anonymous Penguin on Sat 10th Nov 2007 14:56 in reply to "RE[3]: Good for Novell!"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

You know, open source is mainly about get some very basic use from *your* computer : browsing the web, sending email, writing documents, etc.


I disagree. Why can't I have some of the more sophisticated programs which are available for Windows or OS X?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Good for Novell!
by Redeeman on Fri 9th Nov 2007 16:48 in reply to "RE[2]: Good for Novell!"
Redeeman Member since:
2006-03-23

"i run a grocery store, and nobody buys from me - oh well, i guess i'd better start burning down my competitors"

"There ought to be some laws regarding what people can do, and you cannot burn down other people simply cause they have better services for lower prices!!"

"you keep your moral high ground! i would rather get some work done!"

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Good for Novell!
by dbodner on Fri 9th Nov 2007 21:40 in reply to "RE[2]: Good for Novell!"
dbodner Member since:
2007-07-01

You keep your moral high ground, I would rather get work done.


And in the year since the original deal, what has come out that has "helped you get your work done".

This isn't about a moral high ground, it's about calling the "deal" out for what it is. If you think it's for "interoperability" (which is a problem predominantly because of microsoft spitting in the face of standards in the first place), then you're living with your head stuck in the sand. This may help Novell customers because they now have ease of mind, but this is hurting Red Hat and other legitimate businesses who do not comply. And that's what Microsoft is after, not "interoperability".

Reply Parent Score: 2