Microsoft and Novell

microsoftWow, I haven’t expected that.

Novell and Microsoft start to cooperate on an official level, working together to provide interoperability between their solutions and to make sure that customers are able to run mixed environments.
They will even work together to get the Open Document Format better integrated within MS Office and Microsoft’s XML Office format working inside OpenOffice.

But Nice as well – we talk about Open Source here, and all efforts done by Novell to improve software like OOo or Samba will go back to the Samba team and the OOo project. And it shows that some people at Miscrosoft really mean business when they talk about interoperability, not suing other people and getting closer to Open Source and Free Software.
It shows also that Open Source and Free Software is much too powerful in these days to be ignored, even by the large players.
Welcome to the reality, Microsoft. Nice to meet you here, eventually.

One thing in my mind is at the moment that this is, yet again, very bad news for Red Hat: they are facing Oracle on the one hand, and now Novell as one of their biggest competitors has this powerful partnership. Rough times, but I hope they get through it. Red Hat has a kind of spirit which made it possible to become what they are today, and I’m quite sure that they are innovative enough to face these challenges. However, it will not be easy.
Interesting times.

Ah, and before I forget: I saw much too many moves by Microsoft to be easily convinced that they now turned over to the good side: the Port 25 lab, in all its tries to get closer to the Open Source community, never answered the critical questions asked by their readers. The Office XML format is still full of binary blobs which can only be interpreted by MS software. The licence agreement with Novell only covers Novell and hackers not working inside a commercial environment. MS is still trying to get the media market on its side with Windows Media Audio DRM (or the new Zune stuff). Windows is bundled with more and more software, so MS still uses its monopoly to kill competitors in an illegal way. Microsoft still refuses to simply hand out the Samba documentation (keep in mind that even MS’s expert said that all stuff offered by MS is not as useful as it should be). …
I think you get the point. I see no reason to really trust MS after all they did – much too many of that stuff was criminal, and the rest wasn’t pro-competition (so pro capitalistic).

But they show that it could be worth it giving them a chance.


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