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Microsoft and Novell reaffirm pact.

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| So I read this latest announcement, thought about the implications of it and
| then moved on .. until I was spammed by Novell's marketing department asking
| what I thought about the press release. They said that if I wanted, I could
| even ring up their director of marketing via instant messenger and chat about
| it! This is a good example of public opinion management: they evidently know
| that it's a sensitive area and so are trying to head off any problems by
| engaging people in the community directly and early on. Very early on in
| fact: I received my email just a few minutes after the press release was sent
| out and they attached a PDF of the press release to the email for my
| reference. Well done! (I mean that: it was a well executed plan.)
| And since they asked, I thought, "Sure, why not share my thoughts!" However,
| I thought I'd do it here instead of over AIM or Yahoo! Messenger with Justin
| S., partly because I don't like being managed by other people's marketing
| departments, but mostly because too many of the people who do speak in
| non-positive terms about this deal tend do so with argumentation that is too
| easy to discount by simply playing the "let's be reasonable" card.


The Waltham Pact: Where are the tangibles?

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| Well there’s… Mono? Sure, Novell has access to Microsoft’s developers and
| documentation for re-implementing .NET on Linux, but Microsoft has hardly
| made a college try to help Novell actually FINISH Mono or commit programmers
| to the effort. Hell, if Microsoft took one million dollars of that hundred
| million, and earmarked a few of its .NET developers as consulting staff to
| Novell for 3 years, you can bet they would get to parity with the one on
| Windows, at least so it isn’t always broken with the latest implementation of
| whatever API. Now, I’m not blaming Microsoft for not being open with Novell —
| it’s not their implicit responsibility to build Open Source projects — Mono
| is a Novell sponsored, community effort. But if Microsoft really wants to
| see .NET running on literally every OS, then Mono is going to need more than
| just “here’s our docs and call our guys and come on campus whenever you want
| when you need help, Miguel. Oh and by the way, have some free Diet Cokes and
| go use our Starbucks in the lounge.”



A company turns the Microsoft-Novell case into an open source business model

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| Everybody seems to agree that software patents are bad: because of patent
| trolls, because the patent system is broken and overwhelmed or because they
| threaten FOSS. In short, people don’t want to pay for Linux.
| Yet even pro-open-source companies are making this argument that they have to
| build a patent portfolio so that to be able to defend themselves, just in
| case. Hey, even open source communities have adopted this “I’m forced too”
| stance.
| Therefore it was only a matter of time before an open source company decides
| patents could be used to solidify open source dual-licensing schemes. Imagine
| the deal between Microsoft and Novell erected into a widespread open source
| dual-licensing scheme. Scary.

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