|A cold day in hell
||[Nov. 9th, 2006|12:09 pm]
[This post is a tad sketchy. I has been postponed, rewritten, etc, and it still is not statisfactory. I post it as is for what it is]|
"Microsoft has agreed to sell cancer. Or least to support Novell's SUSE Linux and be more friendly to the open source operating system." -- TheReg
Yes you read, that is the announcement that has just spread like a virus all over the web. Announcement webcasted by Novell in non-free formats: Flash and WMV. Yes you read: Linux streams = Flash. Hello Novell!
Also users of OpenSUSE express their discontent.
But what is all that fuss about? Clairement the announcement about Microsoft selling Linux us pure decoy. Decoy to turn people away from the real truth. Read on Groklaw for a bit. And for another bit.
You have read? Fine. So what is it about? It is about patent terrorrism. In short, Microsoft claimed to have some patents and Linux and Hovespian Fell Into the Trap. It is hard to know how all of this happened internal at Novell, but I have a high suspicion that Miguel and Nat are not foreign to the decision. The reason? Mono.
Mono is a Free Software implementation of Microsft CLR runtime with the .Net class framework and C# compiler. Mono is Ximian main project, led by Miguel and Nat, Ximian having been acquired by Novell in 2003. This software, despite being release under Free Software licenses (GPL, LGPL and MIT/X11 mostly) has always been controversial when it comes to patent issues, as Microsoft is known to have a portfolio on patents on the underlying technologies. Miguel's defense was always that Microsoft said they wouldn't sue on this, but without any real committment. Would you trust Microsoft on this? Nobody did.
In November 2005, RedHat decided that they could now ship Mono after the Open Invention Network has been setup. The goal of OIN is to provide a portofolio of patents to be used as a defense if somebody start to sue (like Microsoft). But apparently this is not enough.
Now that postpone to finish this article, Novell just posted the FAQ. I can smell B.S. from far away. Read Q4 and Q5. Nice loophole. The effect is the same. Somebody pay to not be sued for patent infringement. If that is not acknowledging patents, then what is it? Read on Groklaw commentary, and Havoc Pennington opinion.