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  1. #1
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    Microsoft/Novell deal, what do you think?

    I consider myself a casual computer user and am not very knowledgeable about computers or the computer world. At first the Microsoft Novell deal seems like it could prove beneficial and therefore a good thing. But then I don't trust Microsoft and think that in the end no good will come of this deal. (IMO the later is more likely.) I'd be interested to know what you guys think. Thanks!


  2. #2
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    Re: Microsoft/Novell deal, what do you think?

    It's just a business deal benefitting Novell and Microsoft. I really don't think it's going to directly affect very much at all. But I know that's not of any reassurance. LOL.

  3. #3
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    Re: Microsoft/Novell deal, what do you think?

    Under the patent cooperation agreement, Novell's customers receive directly from Microsoft a covenant not to sue. Novell does not receive a patent license or covenant not to sue from Microsoft, and we have not agreed with Microsoft to any condition that would contradict the conditions of the GPL. Our agreement does not affect the freedom that Novell or anyone else in the open source community, including developers, has under the GPL and does not impose any condition that would contradict the conditions of the GPL
    "Microsoft made it clear that only SUSE users and developers, as well as unsalaried Linux developers, are protected. 'Let me be clear about one thing, we don't license our intellectual property to Linux because of the way Linux licensing GPL framework works, that's not really a possibility,' said Microsoft chief executive, Steve Ballmer. 'Novell is actually just a proxy for its customers, and it's only for its customers,' he added. 'This does not apply to any forms of Linux other than Novell's SUSE Linux. And if people want to have peace and interoperability, they'll look at Novell's SUSE Linux. If they make other choices, they have all of the compliance and intellectual property issues that are associated with that.'"
    I may be wrong but MS could go after anyone using the non-free codecs/ fonts/etc that is thier IP, and that being towards users, not devs. Possibly another way to stronghold the DRM lock, the last quoted line makes me think about that more and more...

    Makes me want to look at gNewSense more....
    Last edited by centered effect; 11-09-2006 at 12:59 PM. Reason: .

  4. #4
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    Re: Microsoft/Novell deal, what do you think?

    I don't see it much different than apple letting Microsoft on their comps. Course now, I could be wrong. Easily.

  5. #5
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    Re: Microsoft/Novell deal, what do you think?

    Well Apple has more of a market share than Linux, plus I wouldn't doubt that Apple pays some fees to MS to allow the usage of MS patented material.

    I mentioned this here:
    http://forums.pcper.com/showthread.php?t=420812

    Let me get into another topic. I did not know this until I was using Ubuntu. Installing the w32codecs and/or any non-free audio/video tools is illegal in the United States. Illegal?



    Ok so I thought, how do you pay the fees and how much are they? No one knows is what I am gethering (who am I going to pay? Mark Shuttleworth, Ian Murdock, Bill Gates, or Steven Spielberg?). Then I read this follwing links in Lobby4linux (from Helios' blog - http://lobby4linux.com/WordPress/?p=94):

    quoted

    Digital Rights Management and Trusted Computing will macerate every aspect of their computing lives. We cannot think of any technology that has so thoroughly threatened the freedom of choice for this many people. In fact, Windows Vista Users have a nasty surprise in store for them, thanks to DRM.�Helios, my well-intentioned but outrageously paranoid friend…relax, you said it yourself…you said Windows Users. We who use Linux are safe.�

    No. No, we are not safe.

    Jeff Ayers, a representative of RealNetworks, recently read Linux Users the writing on the wall:

    �The consequences of Linux not supporting DRM would be that fixed-purpose consumer electronics and Windows PCs would be the sole entertainment platforms available,” Ayers said. “Linux would be further relegated to use in servers and business computers, since it would not be providing the multimedia technologies demanded by consumers.”

    Did you �hear� what he is saying? …Windows PCs would be the sole entertainment platforms available…� “Linux would be further relegated to use in servers and business computers…

    While I am masticating this quote, let me grind just a bit more of it up. Pay attention to the last sentence of the Ayers comment: �…since it would not be providing the multimedia technologies demanded by consumers.� I need to ask an honest question here…and I am asking anyone who reads this. Does Ayers think people do not think about what he is saying? The multimedia technologies demanded by consumers? What multimedia technologies, DRM and Trusted Computing technology? Since when has anyone outside the RIAA and the MPAA ever asked for this poison to infect their systems? All we want to do is use our computers as an alternate method of utilizing our paid-for media, be it music or video.

    end quote

    Ok, I won't debate whether or not this is true or not, since I ddon't want this going to the TLR forum, but what if part of it is true?
    Is this the start of where MS get into Linux? What part of "If they make other choices, they have all of the compliance and intellectual property issues that are associated with that." can fit here?

    I could be totally wrong, really....

  6. #6
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    Re: Microsoft/Novell deal, what do you think?

    I see this as more FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) tactics from Microsoft. All this talk of IP, and who they may or may not sue under such agreements... it's all just scare tactics.

    Microsoft have been doing everything within their power for a very long time to fight the ascendancy of Linux. If they had a legal position, they would have thrown their lawyers at it a long time ago and defended their position in a court of law.

    When corporations are considering whether to go Linux or Windows 2003 Server, such scare tactics and the potential (threats) of being sued for using Linux form a large part of their decision making process. It's enough to scare off many larger companies from making the switch.

    FUD, FUD, FUD...

    Here's some more Microsoft FUD for those not familiar with their tactics:

    http://www.catb.org/~esr/halloween/

    Makes interesting, if somewhat biased, reading!

  7. #7
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    Re: Microsoft/Novell deal, what do you think?

    I just find it strange that GPL 3.0 attempts to undermine itself with the intolerance of DRM. Because any software that enables DRM is not covered under it. I think alot of people are watching the evolving drafts of GPL v3 very closely. Afterall, that's the heart of the matter isn't it? But yes, it's true, MS components have to be paid for to be used in Linux. Like codecs and fonts, etc. But I think that owning the OS that offers these components isn't different from buying into an exclusive collaberation that promises to solve the problems for you. Besides, Linux has consistently proven the unusual ability to adapt, and i hope it stays that way.

    On a similar note, I don't see people rolling over and letting Microsoft be the exclusive providers of DRM capable operating systems. However, this issue is merely aggrivated by the rigidity of the Free Software Foundation. I have expressed concern about it before. And I have also seen Linus Torvalds quoted to the effect that Linux actually easily could, and maybe even should support it, but he has no control over the FSF, just the Linux kernel.

    We may be witnessing a new crossroads for Linux-like operating systems developing. The MS/Novell deal is more a sign of the times, IMO.

  8. #8
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    Re: Microsoft/Novell deal, what do you think?

    I guess it s a big shiny "time will tell" stamp on this one but what I guess Novell did was just to extend their "you are safe with us" program (cant remember the word starts on a) telling potential customers that they will be safe from the biggest and baddest if you buy from them.

    I also think the GPL3 debacle is more of a concern right now for potential Linux customers (provided they know about it, it might not be that high profile if you're not in the linux world allready) since it provides uncertanty about whats going to happen to the OS and various apps. And with that I might jsut have poured some mote FUD into the whole thing...

  9. #9
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    Re: Microsoft/Novell deal, what do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by bonso View Post
    I also think the GPL3 debacle is more of a concern right now for potential Linux customers (provided they know about it, it might not be that high profile if you're not in the linux world allready) since it provides uncertanty about whats going to happen to the OS and various apps. And with that I might jsut have poured some mote FUD into the whole thing...
    I wonder how this will play out/work. Will it cause problems if programs within Linux are covered by different versions of the GPL? (For those that may not know, Linus Torvalds has said that the Linux kernel will stay under the current, version two, of the GPL.) Or will Linux, as a whole, stay under GPL2? (This article mentions Linux may/could stay under GPL2.) Will GPL3 make it, or will someone challenge Stallman?

  10. #10
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    Re: Microsoft/Novell deal, what do you think?

    Microsoft's developer patent pledge "worse than useless" says Software Freedom Law Center
    November 10, 2006

    ..... “It's worse than useless, writes Bradley Kuhn, SFLC CTO. “Don't be confused by the illusion of a truce; developers are no safer from Microsoft patents now than they were before.”....

    ...The patent covenant only applies to software that you develop at home and keep for yourself; the promises don't extend to others when you distribute. You cannot pass the rights to your downstream recipients, even to the maintainers of larger projects on which your contribution is built.”....
    Complete article over at Computer Buisness Review Online

    Bradley M. Kuhn's Letter to the FOSS Development Community Regarding Microsoft's Patent Promise from Software Freedom Law Center


    MS open to more Linux deals
    Correspondents in Mumbai
    NOVEMBER 10, 2006
    MICROSOFT is open to more deals like one it just agreed with Novell for open-source Linux software, but believes customers will continue to pay for software, its chief executive told an Indian newspaper.

    "We will love to put that kind of agreement in place with anyone who distributes Linux software, Red Hat, whoever else," Steve Ballmer told India's Economic Times.
    Complete article over at Australian IT
    Last edited by Christop54; 11-11-2006 at 12:24 AM. Reason: Another article to add

  11. #11
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    Re: Microsoft/Novell deal, what do you think?

    There are a number of developers who are going to stick with v2 of the GPL, as v3 in its current form was deemed incompatible with certain projects.

  12. #12
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    Re: Microsoft/Novell deal, what do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan View Post
    There are a number of developers who are going to stick with v2 of the GPL, as v3 in its current form was deemed incompatible with certain projects.
    Okay then. That answers that.

  13. #13
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    Re: Microsoft/Novell deal, what do you think?


  14. #14
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    Re: Microsoft/Novell deal, what do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by Christop54 View Post
    Strong stuff:

    There are serious questions regarding how Novell intends to go on with its business. Developers are jumping ship. The very software that you sell is owned by parties who are now hostile to your company. The C library, essential to run every program on your system, is the property of the Free Software Foundation, which will surely relicense that library to LGPL 3. The leading developer of that library is a Red Hat employee. It's already been announced that GPL and LGPL 3 will contain terms that make it untenable to use while your patent agreement with Microsoft stands.

    The Samba software and hundreds of other programs will probably go a similar path. The Novell-Microsoft agreement has even had the power to make the Linux kernel developers and the large companies that support them take a fresh look at GPL 3. In the face of these changes, Novell will probably be stuck with old versions of the software, under old licenses, with Novell sustaining the entire cost and burden of maintaining that software. Novell will have to maintain its customers on old versions while the community takes GPL 3 versions of the same software into the future.

    In short, now that Novell has chosen not to hang together with the Free Software community, we've chosen not to do so with you.
    It would only take one or two key component programs (kernel, samba etc) to go this path to leave SuSe totally dead in the water. Without the ability to redistribute or backport patches from newly licenced programs, SuSe' position becomes untenable.

  15. #15
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    Re: Microsoft/Novell deal, what do you think?

    Drop suse and run gentoo.
    Gentoo has far better support than suse could ever dream of, not that one would need it, but if need be, the strong support community is there.
    Best way to protest suse is stop buying it and watch it go by the way side real quick. Gentoo is the way to go.
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