Novell and Microsoft under the Microscope

Many people have been asking the NZOSS for an analysis of the deal Novell did with Microsoft. It is perhaps tempting to dismiss the deal based on Microsofts history of illegal monopolistic behaviour such as its deals that excluded DR DOS from the market, or its bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows to undermine Netscape, or its bundling of Windows Media Players to undermine Real.

Microsoft to Support Linux

In the last few months we have seen Microsoft working closer with companies that support and develop open source applications such as Sugar CRM. Microsoft has also claimed that it is becoming somewhat less agressive in its approach to competition. That said todays announcement that Microsoft will be supporting Novell's Suse Linux is still somewhat of a shock. Some might be suspicious of this new relationship, but perhaps we should applaude it as an example of how open source could be good for everyone; even Microsoft.

Nandor to attend Software Freedom Day

Nandor Tanczos, a keen Open-Source advocate, has kindly agreed to attend the Auckland Software Freedom Day event. Nandor will be arriving at 11am to give a brief speech on Open Source Software. The event will be held on Queen Street this Saturday, and will initially be on the corner of Queen Street and Victoria Street. There will also be demonstrations of Open Source Software, and copies of Ubuntu, OpenOffice and Firefox available.

Web Services to be Freed of Patents

Microsoft has just released a "Microsoft Open Specification Promise" related to thirty five web service patents. It is a similar promise made regarding Word Processing patents. The release of this promise was done in consultation with Red Hat. Mark Webbink, General Council for Red Hat stated “Red Hat believes that the text of the OSP gives sufficient flexibility to implement the listed specifications in software licensed under free and open source licenses. We commend Microsoft’s efforts to reach out to representatives from the open source community and solicit their feedback on this text, and Microsoft's willingness to make modifications in response to our comments.”

Patently a Winner

Last year the NZOSS filed a opposition to a XML Word Processing patent filed by Microsoft. Yesterday a resolution to the opposition was achieved when the NZOSS Council decided that all our objectives had been achieved, and that the NZOSS would not be following through to a hearing.

Microsoft in their counter statement had unconditionally amended the patent in a way that avoided issues surrounding prior use and prior publication. Abiword was the primary evidence stated in the NZOSS statement of case as prior use, and it was on this basis that the NZOSS claimed that the patent was invalid. The amended patent was substantially modified, including only seven claims rather than the original number of more than twenty. The amended claims were also more specific, and would no longer create issues for software developers who wished to interoperate with Microsoft XML file formats.

VARs: Linux A Money Maker

Interesting article on a study that found a strong correlation between the use of Linux and Open Source Software in solutions and profitability for Value Added Resellers. Hardly surprising you might think but it's nice to know that the evidence is mounting. I'm always a bit leary of studies that are paid for by proponents of the conclusion the study comes to but at least in this case they are up front about it and not trying to hide behind a proxy.