Proud member of the Firebagger Lefty blogosphere!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

An initial conclusion on the Novell-Microsoft deal

For a while now I have been thinking about where I am on the Novell - Microsoft deal. Just ran across this article titled "Why I'm sticking with Novell's Linux desktop". Since Stephen was saying it as well or better than I can here it is ...
"Opinion -- Someone just asked me whether, now that Novell's become buddies with Microsoft, I'll be turning away from Novell/SUSE as one of my favorite Linux distributions. My answer is no. I'm sticking with SUSE Linux on both my desktops and servers. Here's why.

First, like many of you, I do think that Novell's deal with Microsoft is a mistake. While in the short run, I think the deal will be good for Novell. It will, after all, get its Linuxes into shops that would otherwise turn up their noses at anything without Windows in the title. In the long run, I can't think of a single software company that has ever done well in an alliance with Microsoft. Can you?

The deal also enables Microsoft to wield the FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) of patent lawsuits against the other Linux companies. Like its client company SCO once tried to do with SCOsource, Microsoft is asking other companies for royalties to cover IP (intellectual property) that it may not actually own.

Remember though, that SCOsource fell flat on its face. Except for Microsoft and Sun -- funny those two, eh? -- no one ever paid SCO any significant amount for SCOsource IP. I doubt very much that Microsoft will do any better.

In any case, that's Microsoft's business -- not Novell's. Recall, if you will, that the original study that showed that Linux potentially violates 283 software patents was written by Dan Ravicher, an attorney, executive director of PUBPAT (Public Patent Foundation), and an open-source supporter.

At the time, many people took this as an attack on Linux. That fire quickly died down as it became clear what Ravicher was actually doing. I wonder if that will prove to be the case with Novell as well.

In other words, before throwing out the baby of a great Linux distribution with the bathwater of open-source political correctness, I want to see how Novell's role in all this plays out.

Let me remind you that, both SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server) and SLED (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) are both superb commercial Linuxes. In addition, openSUSE is one heck of a strong community Linux distribution. While I can say good things about many Linux desktop distributions -- MEPIS and Freespire both spring to mind -- for me, you simply can't find a better business Linux desktop today than SLED.

I like the KDE 3.5.5 interface. I like -- now that's it's finally fixed -- the easy YAST update system. And, I like the combination of powerful and up-to-date software programs like Evolution,, GAIM, and Firefox.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. What I like isn't proprietary or open-source software. What I like is software that works, and works well. And, by that pragmatic yardstick, SLED is still the desktop to beat, in my book."

-- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
Now will Novell get busy and push out Firefox 2 for SLES10 and SLED10!

No comments: