I do not want market share. I want freedom!

Microsoft is now officially a supporter of Linux and opensource software.

“Microsoft and Novell Announce Broad Collaboration on Windows and Linux Interoperability and Support”

Simply said, Novell has sold its soul to the Devil

The main aspects of this “collaboration” are:

  • Microsoft acknowledges that Linux is enterprise-ready (“Microsoft and Novell are enabling customers to take advantage of each other’s products where it makes sense in their enterprise infrastructure” from the press release for example)
  • “Microsoft will make a onetime upfront payment to Novell for the cross licensing deal. Moving forward, Novell will pay a fee for each support Suse support contract that it sells” as stated by Tom Sanders on VNUnet. As said by Bruce Perens, this means that “Novell and Microsoft are entering into a patent cross-license [and] Microsoft is promising not to assert its patents against individual non-commercial developers. The bad part is that this sets Microsoft up to assert its patents against all commercial Open Source users”. It’s clear that we are talking of Red Hat here who has an official reaction to all this. By the way, this seems to be in direct violation of paragraph 7 of the GPL under which Novell’s SuSE Linux is released.
  • OpenOffice.org, Samba and Mono are explicitly mentioned. Novell is working on integrating Microsoft’s Office Open XML into OpenOffice.org (in an attempt to kill the OpenDocument format which is an ISO and IEC standard)

An unexpected consequence (?) is that all major “computer” companies are delighted: Intel, AMD, HP, IBM, Dell and SAP are cited in the Microsoft press release. Another development is Oracle’s recent intention to have its own Linux distribution in favour of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Ok. Let me think… I get it!

Microsoft and the other big companies like Oracle, IBM, Intel, AMD, Dell and HP (notice that I don’t mention Novell which will be irrelevant in some years) know that Linux has won and now they want to control it. They need to eliminate Red Hat. And they also need to stifle the creativity of open source developers who might compete with them (i.e. by creating innovative commercial software to be sold to their customers).

In the coming years, Linux (or should we call that Microsoft Linux?) will become more and more visible. Linux will get major market share in the corporate world.

There is a risk we’ll all lose our freedom… In fact, now that there is a Microsoft-approved way to use Linux (that is, use SuSE), many corporate clients (and even individuals) might be tempted to follow that route instead of choosing whatever might be best for them.

Personally, I believe freedom is more important that some bloody market share. So I choose freedom. And I’m not alone/ For example, check this or this.

F**k Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, IBM, Intel, AMD, Dell and HP!

To all my dear readers, this is a message from the heart. I would like to ask you to use Red Hat Linux products. Please also use Debian Linux, Ubuntu Linux, Kubuntu Linux or any other Linux distribution not made by Novell and Oracle. Feel free to indulge in FreeBSD. Why don’t you give (if possible) Mac OS X a try?


An update: Novell’s CEO, Ron Hovsepian, has written an open letter to the opensource community (us!) where he says:

We disagree with the recent statements made by Microsoft on the topic of Linux and patents. Importantly, our agreement with Microsoft is in no way an acknowledgment that Linux infringes upon any Microsoft intellectual property. When we entered the patent cooperation agreement with Microsoft, Novell did not agree or admit that Linux or any other Novell offering violates Microsoft patents.

Can you hear, Balmer?


  1. Linux is nice..
    and so is windows..

    Sure ppl can give a try to linux..bt how many will continue to use it??
    many having been overexposed to windows, some will find it difficult to use..for not every1 has a good understanding and usage of computers..

    Personally i would’ve shifted completely to linux..however..i still use Windows a lot..in fact i use linux only to work out my assignments coz i find windows too distractive..i use windows only for games..unfortunately there ain’t that much games with fantastic graphics on linux(btw any1 got Need For Speed Carbon yet??? any NFS fans around???)..

    besides, common user might find it a hassle to use linux..

    now imho, i think that this “Microsoft Linux” thing might do some good as well..for instance..there might b more games available to run on Linux..coz i do believe that some wnt care abt such an operating system if it doesnt support games..any1 got some interesting games on linux?? till now i’ve found only BillardGL interesting..the rest aint really my type..well i’ve not tried all yet..

    Don’t u play games avinash?? Are u a Quaker??

    Am not a pro windows nor a pro linux..bt am rather a pro OS-that-has-great-games and i suppose that am not the only one either..

  2. It’s true that you don’t have lots of games in Linux (I am not a gamer myself), but this is not a reason for me to accept the existence of a Microsoft-approved Linux “might do some good” :-)

    Microsoft does not care about Torvalds, about Stallman or about us Linux geeks. Microsoft is a commercial company with one major objective : to please its millions of shareholders by making the maximum amount of profit.

    They have approached Novell because Novell was “buyable” (Red Hat was not). Mark my words, in 5 years, Novell will be completely forgotten. This has happened many times in the past.

  3. Seriously, I don’t particularly see how Microsoft can be of any help to the open source community.

    I have to agree with Avinash. In fact I’m pretty skeptic…History has shown that MS either buys or crush competitors with their billions of dollars…Novell/SUSE will just be another casualty…

    This Novell/MS collaboration is just a way to get on the “good side” of Linux users. But then I don’t the Linux developer community is naive. As far as I recall, the Samba developers have complained about Microsoft’s lack of cooperation on SMB.

    To sum up:

    “Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.”
— Steve Jobs, Fortune, Nov. 9, 1998

  4. hmm it does seem that microsoft is gonna win the day agen (so much for all the talks of its being already dead n buried lol). I ain’t much of a linux user but i do fink that open-source is the way to go. No company can rival wiv all the creativity n talent available on a global perspective. It might b a good commercial venture, but it definitely aint good for computer science in general. Enfin c la vie, fo faire avek!

    P.S: [to sundeep] aint got the new NFS yet mate!

  5. Microsoft is not going to win.

    I don’t think even now Microsoft realizes the danger they’re in. They’re worrying about Google. And they should. But they should worry even more about thousands of twenty year old hackers writing Ajax applications. Desktop software is going to become increasingly irrelevant. [Paul Graham]

    But until then, they sure will make our life tough :-)

  6. dooshian says:

    i’m from mauritius and i would like to have a live cd(or full installation) of linux to try out!!!!

  7. Hi Dooshian,

    Go to the Linux User Group of Mauritius and ask. They’ll kindly give you a set of CDs.

  8. Personally, I welcome the partnership between Microsoft and Novell.

    1. .NET on Linux will come faster. God knows how often I’ve craved for a more robust Mono.

    2. Sun deserves a kick in the a** as regards Java. The threat of a truly cross-platform .NET should shake things up. And that is good for us, developers.

    3. More options for Enterprise when Windows will not do.

  9. Hmm.. damned… i always warned when novell got in the scene.. no one botherred to listen to me :p

    Anywayz, you are right.. in such time.. better side with the Devil (am referring to BSD) hihih
    long live FreeBSD
    yeah supporting Redhat stuffs is also a good thing

    ps. sundeep, quake3a is a fantastic game, runs on linux.. plus.. you get more FPS on linux with Quake than on Windows (tried and tested on my machine..now you know that i love to tweak both my windows and linux box..)

    The thing abotu games is just the fault of game developpers.. they are too much dependant on DirectX.. but heh.. they wanna make some money also.. can’t blame em.. hmm thinking of it.. during the 3 years of study in univ.. wouldn’t it be possible for several students to join and to work on a game (now i know thisi s hard.. but with lots and lots of students.. we can make something ..lol bizin demann expert dans game programming la sa.. missiE pascal?)


  10. hmm.. it might even be made into a sort of GEM, any student who spend that much hours in project gameuom gets a certain amount of marks.. interesting.. that’s the type of thing i thought univ will be before i came in, ohh well i know students will be difficult to recruit, but it can be a project that can take years.. but as long as there is one :p

  11. Stephen Naicken says:

    Microsoft and Xen is another interesting relationship. I had a conversation with research at Microsoft Research, Cambridge a few months ago. The reason for the relationship, to screw VMware, not to contribute to open source and all it stands for. It will be fun to see how things pan out there.

    If RHEL and the others are good enough, I see no reason why they can’t take on any Microsoft-back Linux. The market through its freedom of choice will ultimately decide, but lets hope it is an informed choice.

Speak Your Mind