The other shoe drops

With the ink barely dry on the Novell sell out – I mean agreement with Microsoft, Ballmer is already on the FUD campaign. For anyone that thinks the Novell-Microsoft deal is in anyway good for Linux, think again. It would do well for people to remember what “E” comes after Embrace and Extend. Now that the Microsoft sponsored SCO fud campaign (read lawsuit) has fallen flat on its face, Microsoft wanted a new angle to attack Linux. I have said this before. Microsoft is like any predator. They will separate the herd and then then go after the lone gazelle. Divide and conquer. Till yesterday the Linux vendors were united. The obvious intent is now to separate Red Hat from the herd and go after them.

So Ballmer now wants patent talks with other linux vendors. Excuse me while I go throw up. Haven’t we have seen this before with SCO?. Here’s a quote from the eweek article.

The distributors of other versions of Linux cannot assure their customers that Microsoft won’t sue for patent infringement. “If a customer says, ‘Look, do we have liability for the use of your patented work?’ Essentially, If you’re using non-SUSE Linux, then I’d say the answer is yes,” Ballmer said.

Here we go. Remember a few years back when Ballmer threatened Linux with patent threats? The reaction at that time caused an uproar and some serious backpedaling from the MS PR department. Well I guess the time has come now to repeat the threats. So now if you don’t use SUSE Linux (read if you use Red Hat) then the Microsoft will sue you for patent infringement. Of course they have never once through all these years told the Linux community what Microsoft patents Linux infringes upon. SCO FUD redux anyone?

I am so proud of Red Hat that they are standing their ground. Here is their public response to this nonsense.

I love this line “We will not compromise.” Amen, brother!.

I like Novell. I still admire them for standing up to SCO and for supporting Linux. Novell along with IBM has enough patents that Microsoft would never dare target them directly. Novell has now willingly or unwittingly aligned themselves with a snake in the grass, and have obviously not learned from the lessons of history. They might make a few short term market share gains but the computing landscape is littered with the corpses of the so called “partners” of Microsoft.

When you make a deal with the Devil, you will end up losing your soul. Period. No matter how tempting the deal is, and no matter how smart you think you are, the end result is inevitable. Today, Novell lost its Linux soul. They will never get it back and they will live to regret this day.

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