Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Bruce Perens: Allegorical version of the Novell-Microsoft Patent Agreement

Filed under
SUSE

Once upon a time there was a software company called Novell. Novell had a friend "Big Mike" who was always getting in trouble with the law, but he was strong and had a big business. Big Mike was making big noises, threatening to beat up Novell's customers. So, Novell made a financial deal with Big Mike so that he'd promise not to beat up Novell's customers, but would instead threaten the customers of all of Novell's competitors.

Full Story.


When Novell signed the now-famous agreement with Microsoft, I must admit that I was quite puzzled. For a company making most of its business by selling free and open source software, this seemed unreal; maybe there was a good reason for that, after all. But when I read the part on the patents and the indemnification of customers, I really found out that it was quite odd and contradicting anything I ever read about the GPL.

I have however refrained from giving in the Novell-bashing fashion for several reasons.

This article reflects my personal point of view only, and does not mean that the OpenOffice.org project nor my company, Ars Aperta, endorse this opinion in any way.

Several years ago, I was an intern at Novell. I used to be the « Linux guy » in their Paris office. It meant that I was more or less in charge of training and explaining the local sales force what Free Software was all about, and how to market it to enterprise customers. It was quite of an experience, since Suse had just been acquired. I also knew and know several people at Novell, mostly because Novell is an important contributor of the OpenOffice.org project.

Following the announcement, I was thus quickly in contact with folks at Novell.

Introducing the Novell's Cunning Plan.


Novell on Thursday said it has assigned Susan Heystee, the company's recently named vice president and general manager for global strategic partners, to manage its partnership with Microsoft.

Novell taps exec to manage Microsoft deal.

UPDATE: More details Here.


Balancing the needs of a public company that sells open source software is no easy task--just ask Ron Hovsepian. Hovsepian, the CEO of Novell, Inc., is getting an up-close and personal education in just how demanding those challenges are, as he and his company continue to come under fire for the November 2 partnership announcement with Microsoft.

Almost immediately after announcement, once jaws were collectively lifted off the floor, the community was polarized in their reaction. Many saw the positive technological and business benefits of the relationship, but there seemed to be just as many questions about the nature and rationale for the litigious aspects of the new partnership--specifically, the promise by Microsoft not to enforce their patent portfolio on Novell customers or on non-commercial software developers.

As time went on, the intellectual property segment of the partnership completely overshadowed the other parts of the agreement--a situation further exacerbated by the Microsoft CEO's public statements that indicate he, at least, still believes that Linux does indeed infringe on Microsoft's IP in an undisclosed manner. Despite a quick public response from Novell that argued against Ballmer's insinuations, community opinion about Novell has become decidedly negative in the past couple of weeks.

Which prompted the question to Hovsepian in an interview with LinuxPlanet yesterday: when Ballmer made those remarks, didn't you want to toss a chair in his office? A weak joke, which drew an appropriately weak chuckle, but an honest response: "it's definitely frustrating."

Hovsepian: Balancing on the Novell-MS Tightrope.

Microsoft, Novell Take Their Partnership To The Streets

» E-Mail
» Print
» Discuss
» Del.icio.us
» Digg

Microsoft, Novell Take Their Partnership To The Streets

Customers are more interested in interoperability and virtualization than patent protection and intellectual property issues, despite the stir Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is creating in the open source community, says Novell.

By Antone Gonsalves
InformationWeek

Nov 30, 2006 08:47 PM

Microsoft and Novell have already contacted more than 100 potential customers in the United States and Europe to sell interoperability deals between SuSE Linux and Windows, according to Susan Heystee, Novell's newly appointed head of the controversial partnership.

Novell said Thursday it chose Heystee to oversee the partnership as part of her new position as vice president and general manager for global strategic partners. Microsoft and Novell announced the partnership this month, saying they would work together on providing virtualization technology to run Windows and Linux on the same machine, and data center interoperability between the two platforms.

Heystee said in an interview that joint sales teams have visited more than 100 companies on both sides of the Atlantic, and has found the reception "extremely positive."

"Our focus has been about where we're going with the combined offering, and working with them on specific proposals," she said.

Full Story.

----
You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

XFree KWin, Plasma, KDE, and Qt/GTK

  • Announcing the XFree KWin project
    Over the last weeks I concentrated my work on KWin on what I call the XFree KWin project. The idea is to be able to start KWin/Wayland without XWayland support. While most of the changes required for it are already in Plasma 5.11, not everything got ready in time, but now everything is under review on phabricator, so it’s a good point in time to talk about this project.
  • Adapta Theme is Now Available for the #KDE Plasma Desktop
    A new port brings the Adapta GTK theme to the KDE Plasma 5 desktop for the first time, news that will please fans of its famous flat stylings.
  • A New Project To Let You Run Qt Apps With GTK+ Windowing System Integration
    A Norwegian developer has developed a new Qt platform abstraction plug-in to let Qt applications make use of GTK+ for windowing system integration. The Qt apps rely upon GTK+ as a host toolkit to provide GTK menus, GTK for input, and other integration bits.
  • Ant is a Flat GTK Theme with a Bloody Bite
    Between Arc, Adapta and Numix it kind of feels like Linux has the whole flat GTK theme thing covered. But proving their’s always room for one more is Ant.

Android Leftovers

Development: Blockchain for Good Hackathon, ASUS Tinker Board, React License, JavaScript, Pascal, Python

  • Blockchain for Good Hackathon, Saturday, 30 September and Sunday, 1 October
    The Blockchain for Good Hackathon takes place Saturday, 30 September and Sunday, 1 October. Full agenda can be found here.
  • ASUS Tinker Board Is An Interesting ARM SBC For About $60 USD
    Earlier this year ASUS announced the Tinker Board as their first step into the ARM single board computer world. Earlier this month I finally received a Tinker Board for testing and it has been quite interesting to say the least. The Tinker Board with its Rockchip SoC has been among the most competitive ARM SBCs we have tested to date in its price range and the form factor is compatible with the Raspberry Pi.
  • Configure Thunderbird to send patch friendly
  • Facebook to Relicense React Under MIT [Ed: as we hoped [1, 2]]
    Facebook has decided to change the React license from BSD+Patents to MIT to make it possible for companies to include React in Apache projects, and to avoid uncertain relationship with the open source community. Adam Wolff, an Engineering Director at Facebook, has announced that a number of projects - React, Jest, Flow, and Immutable.js – will soon start using the more standard MIT License instead of BSD+Patents. The reason provided is "because React is the foundation of a broad ecosystem of open source software for the web, and we don't want to hold back forward progress for nontechnical reasons." While aware that the React’s BSD+Patents license has created "uncertainty" among users of the library, prompting some to select an alternative solution, Facebook does not "expect to win these teams back" but they still hope some will reconsider the issue. The change in license will become effective when React 16 will be released next week. Regarding other projects, Wolff said that "many of our popular projects will keep the BSD + Patents license for now", while they are "evaluating those projects' licenses too, but each project is different and alternative licensing options will depend on a variety of factors." It seems from this clause that Facebook plans to get rid of the BSD+Patents license entirely, but they need to figure out the best option for each project. [...] Facebook’s plan to switch to a standard license MIT, supported by Apache, completely solves this problem with React and several other projects. It remains to see what happens with the license of other Facebook projects, and how much this license issue has affected how React is perceived by the community.
  • To type or not to type: quantifying detectable bugs in JavaScript
  • Plug For PASCAL
  • V. Anton Spraul's Think Like a Programmer, Python Edition

New Manjaro Release

What a week we had. With this update we have removed most of our EOL tagged kernels. Please adopt to newer series of each, when still be used. PulseAudio and Gstreamer got renewed. Also most of our kernels got newer point-releases. Series v4.12 is now marked as EOL. Guillaume worked on Pamac to solve reported issues within our v6 series. The user experience should be much better now. Latest NetworkManager, Python and Haskell updates complete this update-pack. Please report back and give us feedback for given changes made to our repositories. Read more