More Linux Firms Standing Up To Microsoft

from the won't-sign-the-dotted-line dept

After getting a number of companies to sign its interoperability/patent licensing deals, Microsoft is finding that many Linux distributors aren't interested in these pacts. Red Hat, Canonical (the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux) and now Mandriva have all stated that they want no part of these deals, and see no reason to sign them. As Mandriva CEO Francois Bancilhon correctly put it, the route to interoperability is not through deals, but through open standards. Of course, these deals were never really about interoperability, but about Microsoft looking to demonstrate that some Linux firms agreed with it about the need to license patents. Of course, the firms that have joined the Microsoft camp are seeing benefits, as Microsoft is sending business their way, particularly in the case of Novell. That being said, Novell has burned a lot of bridges in the open source community, while these holdout firms are likely to benefit from added love among Linux fans.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    Nathan Gagner, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 9:13am

    OS

    Does Microsoft have a commitment to support community based Anti-Big Brother initiatives?

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 9:56am

    Microsoft Haters

    Please leave are just people and companies that what nothing to do with MS. Their complaining the some companies do.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 9:57am

    Microsoft Haters

    Oh ,please. These are are just people and companies that want nothing to do with MS. They are complaining because some companies do.

     

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  4.  
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    M. S. Advocate, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 9:59am

    Burned Open-Source Bridges

    Given the option to burn a bridge with Microsoft or a to burn one with 'some in the open source community' (whomever exactly they are) which would you choose? No-brainer I think.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 10:04am

    Tight rope walking...

    I hope the ones the signed those deals with Microsoft read all of the fine print. Some say that interoperability should not have to set in stone be a contract while say that without a contract (a firm foundation of rules) interoperability could become one big mess. Microsoft could be setting up all these deals as part of a future plan to trap those that agreed to them. Or Microsoft could have finally seen the light and decided that trying to tightly control the software market is profitable in the short run but will take you feet out from under you in the long term.

    Notice how I never really said I was for or against the idea of all these deals? It's because a quetion like that cannot just be answered in one clever post or insightful comment (kinda like net neutrality).

     

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  6.  
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    ScaredOfTheMan, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 10:06am

    Actions speak louder than words

    Folks I am an MS years for over 15 years, I am not an "MS hater"

    I don't know what the point of these deals are? If you want interoperability then make your product inter-operable, instead we have SMB2 vs SMB, over 200 mystery pattens and all sorts of other proprietary stuff coming out of MS.

    I do not believe Linux Desktop will take over the world, but I am happy that its there, its like a cloud (a little one anyway) hanging over MS' ability to make the Desktop less and less under our control.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 10:07am

    its kinda like countries in europe signing peace agreements with germany before WW2.....

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 10:10am

    As Mandriva CEO Francois Bancilhon correctly put it, the route to interoperability is not through deals, but through open standards.

    hehe!!!

    that reminds me of Open Source.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 10:32am

    Maybe the novell deal is a plus though. Without the ability to interoperate seemlessly many individuals would never switch to linux. The only way I was able to swith my sister to linux is to show her SUSE, and now she'll swear by it. After kicking and screaming when I switched her to SUSE from windows, she now screams when I want to switch to Ubuntu, my new favorite distro. But Novell's headed the right direction (maybe by accident - but still), we need some sort of middle group for people just switching.

     

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  10.  
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    jLl, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 10:46am

    patents...you forget about them so quickly

    The problem with just simply making OSs interoperable is patents.

    MS owns enough that just trying to match them is a quick way to get sued -- despite the benefit for users. And, open-source isn't, in general, designed to be profitable on its own (thus closed-source versions and donations), so an open-source company getting sued is a huge hit -- especially when MS is the plaintiff.

    These deals save the linux distros from being sued because they want to make their desktop closer to Windows so more Windows users can switch easily. And, you still don't get the point of the deal?

    Linux is NOT a good OS for the majority of people. Trying to implement Windows-like features, to make the transition easier, can be a point. Making cross-system networking easier is another.

    Of course MS can use these to complete f#&@ over those who have made deals already. But once they release an MS-like feature, it's open within the open-source license. So, even if they get screwed, other distros will be able to quickly pick up and use anything these 3 companies release.

     

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  11.  
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    Mattt2, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 10:55am

    patents... yeah right

    jLi,

    The point is that all of this new interopability will be encumbered by patents. The companies signing up will be protected from lawsuits (until MS decides differently), but the non-signatories can't touch the stuff without it blowing up in their faces.

     

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  12.  
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    MATT (profile), Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 10:56am

    sending business to others?

    I know that MS is "helping Novell", but I can't say that they're anti everything else. It's that wonderful MS style: "we'll help what we want, but we won't hinder the rest" (same thing when it boils down to it though.)

    Example: MS distributes many linux distros via their shop for free, for some reason.

     

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  13.  
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    MATT (profile), Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 11:00am

    reply to myself

    I take that back about the distros

    turned out that was a 1 or 2 day thing.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    jLl, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 11:03am

    Re: patents... yeah right

    How will it blow up in their faces?

    The deals make it clear that anything released is available to the ENTIRE linux community. Of course, under license, but so is everything else in the community.

    There's too much blind hatred towards MS, that I don't see them actually breaching their contracts; they can't afford that size of a class-action suit that would surely follow.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Ferin, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 11:05am

    Couldn't they sue MS?

    They keep making these claims without substantiating them. Couldn't one of the firms make a claim of defmation (or libel or slander, I don't remember the definitions) and sue microdoft to put an end to this? I relaize they've got deep pockets, but it might be fun to see them rocked back on their heels a little even if such suit went no where.

     

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  16.  
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    R3d Jack, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Microsoft Haters

    Yeah, right. And Osama bin Laden is just misunderstood.

     

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  17.  
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    R3d Jack, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Burned Open-Source Bridges

    The correct answer is Micro$oft, but that's not the answer you appear to have in mind.

     

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  18.  
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    R3d Jack, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 1:34pm

    Re: Tight rope walking...

    Historically, companies that cozy up to Micro$oft end up getting reamed. Does anyone remember the name of the company from whom M$ stole SQL Server?

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Shaun, Jun 23rd, 2007 @ 12:05am

    Re: Burned Open-Source Bridges

    Hmmm... let me think, burn bridges with a competitor or burn bridges with your customers and potential customers?

    Year you're right that is a no-brainer.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2007 @ 12:14am

    Re: patents...you forget about them so quickly

    These deals save the Linux distros from being sued because they want to make their desktop closer to Windows so more Windows users can switch easily. And, you still don't get the point of the deal?
    Actually you're wrong there. The deals are that Microsoft won't sue their customers, the companies can still be sued. Microsoft can't license patents to the companies for Linux without licensing them to everyone else for use in Linux. It's a loophole in the GPL that allows them to do this deal, therefore going against the spirit of the GPL which is why everyone is so pissed off about these deals.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Reed, Jun 23rd, 2007 @ 9:16am

    Re: patents...you forget about them so quickly

    "Linux is NOT a good OS for the majority of people. Trying to implement Windows-like features, to make the transition easier, can be a point. Making cross-system networking easier is another."

    Linux is a good system for everyone who is not already stuck on Windows.

    Considering the rest of the world will be plenty happy with hand me-down single core processors and the fact that XP support and sales will start ramping down means most of the people coming online for the first time will probably choose Linux over Windows.

    It just makes sense. Linux is light weight, easy to use, and free. How does Vista compare to this? If MS wasn't still stuck in the 80's maybe they would have already understood that bigger isn't always better.

    This has already starting happening in many countries in South America as well as Asia and Africa. While Windows may still be in the "calculated" majority it is losing ground extremely fast in many circles.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Carl Schellenberg, Jun 23rd, 2007 @ 3:03pm

    Keeping the Windows Closed

    Users can make a very simple decision not to use Microsoft products. I did two years ago, and couldn't be happier! Alternative software/hardware is out there...just close the Windows and leave it closed!

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous of course, Jun 25th, 2007 @ 11:34am

    Re: sending business to others?

    Microsoft is "helping" Novell into an early grave.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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