Microsoft, Novell reported in Linux accord

Michael L Torrie torriem at
Fri Nov 3 09:18:48 MST 2006

On Thu, 2006-11-02 at 23:03 -0700, Levi Pearson wrote:
> Here we see Microsoft behaving very differently than in the past;  
> they are actively working to create published standards for the  
> technology they develop, presumably in the interest of enabling  
> interoperability.  They are doing a LOT of this lately, across a lot  
> of their technologies.  This, in my opinion, is a very good thing.

No this is typical MS behavior of Not-Ivented-Here.  Since OpenDocument
is not MS, it must be technologically inferior.  So while MS will pay
lip service to allowing OpenOffice to perhaps use Open XML (what an
oxymoron), they will likely make MS Word import ODT files far better
than they export them.  Since OpenOffice will import OpenXML files and
write them decently, OpenXML becomes the de facto standard, except that
there will always be little things that OpenOffice won't quite be able
to do on other platforms.  MS will never help their competitors; they
only do what is necessary for their own gain and survival--ie keep the
illusion of competition alive.

> > In short, we don't need Open XML. Yet here is Novell jumping on the
> > Betamax of office document formats. To whatever extent Novell lends
> > credibility to Open XML, it is divisive in both the open source
> > movement and in the office products market.
> >
> You must be looking at this through some weird, distorted Free  
> Software glasses or something.  Clearly Open Document is Betamax and  
> Microsoft's new Open XML standard is VHS.  Betamax vs. VHS was all  
> about market share, and in the real world, Microsoft is still king  
> there.

Yes this is correct.  Betamax was the better format. VHS won out solely
from market pushing on Sony's part.  Unlike the Betmax vs VHS issue,
there is far more at stake here then having to buy a new machine to play
videos.  The future of our own data is at stake.

On another issue, the future of Mono is now extremely at risk.  For
years Novell has told us, don't worry.  MS isn't going to sue anyone
over patents.  So go ahead and use it everywhere.  Build businesses on
it. Develop new apps with it.  Now we find out they were lying all
along.  Mono was under direct threat from MS over patents.  And now
anyone outside of the MS/Novell .net hegemony is at risk.  RedHat even
began shipping Mono with their distros.  Expect this to end soon as
RedHat is now under direct threat from MS if they don't.  I had a friend
working at Microsoft this summer, on the IronPython (very cool) project.
He said that MS lawyers told him team they've approached Novell numerous
times over the licensing of the patents covering .NET only to have
Novell rebuff them.  Sounds to me like MS finally put the screws to
Novell (after failing to get them through SCO).  

So I am very fearful of this outcome.  I think Novell is going to pay a
heavy price for this.  No one gets into bed with Microsoft without being
killed in a jealous rage by Microsoft later, or bought out completely by


> And whatever happened to variety and choice being good?  Or is that  
> only true when Microsoft isn't creating the variety?
> 		--Levi
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