Posted on November 4, 2015 by Simon Phipps
The news that Red Hat and Microsoft have reached an agreement about hosting Linux is very welcome. I am delighted for Red Hat here, and see this as a huge sign of the continuing power and growth of open source. It shows that the cloud market is one where and embrace of Linux is table stakes. It also shows that the enterprise market is one where Red Hat is a huge and powerful supplier.
All the same, let’s be clear that all the “Microsoft Loves Linux” hype I saw at SUSECon in Amsterdam yesterday and at other events earlier this year is just not true. Microsoft Azure loves Linux, there is no doubt; it is a basic requirement for them to become relevant on a cloud market dominated by AWS and Linux. They have been out in force at every commercially-oriented open source I have attended this year and have a full-scale charm offensive in place.
But the rest of the company still does not. They still seem to covertly spread open-source-related FUD about LibreOffice here in Europe. They haven’t foresworn making embedded Linux vendors pay for patent licenses of dubious necessity. The Azure business unit is certainly embracing the ecosystem the same as many before them have done so in their steps towards open source. But the Windows and Office business units show no signs of “loving” Linux and only modest signs of co-existing with open source.
It’s hard to change a company as large and profitable as Microsoft quickly. But a significant and binding gesture of goodwill would go a long way to convincing those of us with the scars of Microsoft’s decades of verbal and actual abuse of open source that they mean business. It’s no secret what the necessary gesture is.
“We both know we have very different positions on software patents,” said Paul Cormier, Red Hat’s president for products and technologies. “We weren’t expecting each other to compromise.”
Red Hat, despite asserting they don’t believe Microsoft has any patents that read on their products, included a standstill agreement in the deal. Sources tell me it is carefully phrased to comply with the GPL. If Red Hat felt they had to do that with their new partner, there’s no doubt everyone else remains at risk.
If Microsoft truly want to signal the end of hostilities, step one is to sign the Mozilla Open Software Patent License Agreement or join OIN. Until one of those happens, I remain sceptical of Microsoft’s love for Linux.
[Please see my InfoWorld article for more]
Filed under: Cloud Computing, Links, Linux, Patents | Tagged: Linux, Microsoft, Software Patents | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 3, 2013 by Simon Phipps
Amazingly, the debate about when we will see the “year of the Linux desktop” is still active. Maybe it’s software Stockholm Syndrome making us all love our captor, but the focus on desktop applications, coupled with the idealistic expectation that Windows will be displaced, has led many to overlook or even dismiss the way Linux actually has taken over the desktop.
We were expecting it to displace Windows; instead, it has displaced the Windows desktop application, powered the reinvention of the mobile market, and in the process done more for us all than the revolution we expected could ever have delivered. Read about it on InfoWorld.
Filed under: InfoWorld | Tagged: Linux | Comments Off on Stockholm Syndrome Stopping Seeing How Linux Has Won?
Posted on July 9, 2012 by Simon Phipps
I interviewed Jean-Manuel Croset, CEO of Mandriva S.A. about his plans for the future of the company and its products, together with Charles-H. Schulz, Mandriva’s director of community.
Filed under: MinkCast | Tagged: Linux, Mandriva | Comments Off on MinkCast: Mandriva Rides Again
Posted on March 9, 2012 by Simon Phipps
Are you safer from software patents today, or more at risk? The news that the Open Invention Network (OIN) has extended the definition of “Linux” so that more software is covered by its patent pool is good news, no question. But the new definition also includes carve-outs that put all Linux developers on notice that Phillips and Sony reserve the right to sue over virtualization, search, user interfaces and more – including Android, which is conspicuously absent from the list. Seems consumer devices powered by Linux are in the cross-hairs. Read about it in my column today on InfoWorld.
Filed under: InfoWorld, Patents | Tagged: Linux, Open Invention Network, Patent | 3 Comments »
Posted on December 21, 2011 by Simon Phipps
Despite a panic caused by a misleading headline, not only is Java not being removed from Ubuntu, but the Java reference implementation is actually a package in the main repository. My article today on ComputerWorldUK has the details.
Filed under: ComputerWorldUK, Java | Tagged: Linux, Ubuntu | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 25, 2011 by Simon Phipps
Having suspended disbelief for as long as I could, my ability to take Microsoft at their word over Skype was shattered today by the announcement by Digium, sponsors of the Asterisk project, that they have been told they can no longer sell their Asterisk-Skype interaction module after July 26. In one move, we have illustrated the risk of a hybrid open source model, the danger of dependency on a proprietary system, a proof that Microsoft still can’t be trusted with open source and an impetus to open source innovation.
All in one announcement. Read all about it on ComputerWorldUK.
Filed under: ComputerWorldUK | Tagged: Asterisk, Linux, Microsoft, Skype | Comments Off on ☝ A liberating betrayal?