[sclug] Open Letter to the Community from Novell

Martin Summers Martin.Summers at ansys.com
Wed Nov 22 07:58:57 UTC 2006

 Hello there !

I don't usually post very often on sclug, but this is one of those
issues that makes me feel very uneasy. I have this horrible feeling that
all the press releases I have see, especially from people like Steve
Ballmer of MS, seem to be using the deal they have with Novell to say to
the rest of the Commercial Linux companies: "Strike a deal with us or
face us in court for IP breaches in a US court." (I paraphrase here, but
that seems to be the general gist...)

This could be really rotten for businesses using commercial Linux

On the other hand, it might be good for home users, depending on what
comes out of it: For example, it may make a deal for proprietory video
and audio codecs to be available for Linux. This may be a poor example,
but I am sure that there are other technologies and file formats where
this deal might just bridge the gap. Maybe DRM'ed media might also be a
more open door (providing it doesn't contravene the GP etc..)
(....actually, scratch that last sentence - I don't want to encourage
DRM at all unless there is absolutely no other way to play DVD's and
music on my linux host)

I would love to believe that something good is going to happen as a
result of this deal between MS and Novell, but I suspect there are now a
lot of big risks for Novell as a company as MS are quite capable of
using them for their own needs, and I don't think it would take much for
home SuSE users to drop suse and use another distro. Businesses tend to
care less unless money is directly involved. 

I have been using SuSE a lot in the last few years and as a desktop
system, it works rather well and comes with a lot of applications that
are useful, and I *like* it. I sometimes find the Centos and Redhat
distros a bit lean sometimes, so often end up installing a lot of
additional bits and pieces, but I find the Redhat and Centos stuff nice
if you want something that's very "clean" and have a specific purpose in
 I'm still a big Sharp Zaurus user (a C860), which is a great tool and
superb for learning linux from the ground up - the linux desktop
community could learn a lot from some of the ideas on linux PDA's IMHO.

So maybe its time I gave Ubuntu a try while I see how things pan

Intersting times !

-Martin Summers

-----Original Message-----
From: sclug-bounces at sclug.org.uk [mailto:sclug-bounces at sclug.org.uk] On
Behalf Of alan c
Sent: Wednesday, November 22, 2006 7:35 AM
To: ed
Cc: sclug
Subject: Re: [sclug] Open Letter to the Community from Novell

ed wrote:
> personally i'm in mixed minds about novell now. i cannot decide if 
> their intentions are good or evil.
> http://www.novell.com/linux/microsoft/community_open_letter.html
> from the above they want to make it appear that their ideas are good 
> and pure.
> am i right in thinking that the gpl now prevents Novell from 
> distributing gpl'd code, since they have an alliance with a company 
> now that is taking/trying to take action against gpl'd code
> all seems like a big mess now.

I am sure their intentions are good, though more with a view about their
hoped for business, rather than the linux or oss community.

However, I think that ms are less naive. They have no love of oss, and a
well proven eye for clever spin and also the techniques of embrace,
extract, exterminate, by whatever means will fulfill their objectives. 
All good for business. Novell have a tiger by the tail.

I have used suse almost exclusively until lately. I am now moving away
fast from the distro and also have dropped from suse related support
groups, where I was previously fairly active.
alan cocks
Linux registered user #360648

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