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[4]: Good for Novell!
by karl on Fri 9th Nov 2007 10:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good for Novell!"
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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