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Shuttleworth Says No Patent Deals With Microsoft

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the one-domino-not-falling dept.

Patents 121

christian.einfeldt writes "The FOSS press has speculated for some time now that Mark Shuttleworth would probably not agree to any patent 'protection' deals with Microsoft, but blogger Steven Rosenberg has found a page on Shuttleworth's personal blog ('Here Be Dragons') that unambiguously sets out Shuttleworth's opposition to Canonical's participation in any such deal. Rosenberg summarizes Shuttleworth's position in these terms: 'So there you have it — Canonical welcomes any efforts by Microsoft to improve "interoperability," isn't a fan of OpenXML, doesn't want to infringe on anybody's patents or trademarks, thinks Microsoft's threats are ill-advised, and would like to actually deal with the issue rather than respond out of fear.'

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121 comments

Like this is important ? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19535153)

WTF ? Millions are dying in Africa and Iraq.

Is it really so hard... (5, Informative)

choongiri (840652) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535317)

...to link direct to Shuttleworth's post on his blog [markshuttleworth.com]?

It must be really hard... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19535585)

...to not thread hijack.

Troll.

But why would they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19536307)

The Slashdot "editors" don't have slashvertizing agreements with Shuttleworth. I'm just amazed they didn't link to Roland Piquepaille's adblog.

Re:Like this is important ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19538123)

Is that you, Mr. Gates? Melinda says hi.:)

Stuff that matters? (4, Insightful)

aysa (452184) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535205)

So now we have a site for nerds, that quotes an unknown blogger quoting Shuttleworth.

Great, I will link to the slashdot article in my blog. Maybe I get slashdotted and we get a dupe.

Cant't we go straight to the source?

Re:Stuff that matters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19535325)

...It's from Shuttleworth's personal blog.

Re:Stuff that matters? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19536063)

what do you expect out of a bunch of linux fags? truth and intergrity and good reporting? wtf?

summaries help busy readers (5, Interesting)

christian.einfeldt (874074) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538029)

I linked to Steven Rosenberg's blog because he did a great job of finding a comment buried deep in Mark Shuttleworth's blog and because he nicely summarized Shuttleworth's opinion. Rosenberg broke that story by exhuming it from lots of other content on Shuttleworth's very active blog. Without Rosenberg's blog highlighting of Shuttleworth's blog entry, we /. readers would not have noticed it. Shuttleworth posted his comment on 15 June 2007 [markshuttleworth.com], and a full day passed without that comment being noticed on /., which is a long time for a comment by the founder of a major GNU Linux distro to go unnoticed by /.

Also, Rosenberg saved busy readers a bit of time by summarizing Shuttleworth's longer opinion. Shuttleworth clearly took the time to make sure that his comments were diplomatic and well-rounded, but the result is that his comments were not subject to the kind of quick-glance summary that many /. readers need.

So, in summary, I felt that Rosenberg provided two important journalistic services, and that he deserved to get the attention and traffic for his good work.

Aysa is critical of the decision to link to Roseberg's blog, but IMHO, Aysa's criticism is directed more toward his or her disdain for bloggers and evinces a bias toward big media. Aysa would have had no complaint if this same summary had appeared on say Newsforge. Notice that Aysa doesn't complain about the caliber of Rosenberg's summary or Rosenberg's editorial choice to discuss Shuttleworth's blog. Indeed, Aysa could not have made such complaints, because Rosenberg's summary is pithy and his choice to run a comment by news-making Shuttleworth was unimpeachable. Rosenberg's only "fault" was the fact that his work did not appear on Newsforge. IMHO, Aysa's criticism of the link to a blogger therefore lacks substance and shows a meritless disdain merely for Rosenberg's status. If journalism is good, it's good regardless of where it appears.

Re:summaries help busy readers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19538225)

Aysa is critical of the decision to link to Roseberg's blog, but IMHO, Aysa's criticism is directed more toward his or her disdain for bloggers and evinces a bias toward big media.

WRONG! Aysa just doesn't like BLOGSPAM. Neither does anyone else here.

Re:summaries help busy readers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19539245)

eat a dick you fucking fag.

Re:summaries help busy readers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19539283)

lol. Quite a lengthy post when it would have been so easy to admit that an additional href would not have caused a surge in bandwidth that would bring the intarwebs to it's knees.

Or without the sarcasm: you could have easily included a link to the original source and please don't be silly and try to justify yourself. The editors do allow multiple links in a story submission, ya know.

No biggie though, just move along.

Re:summaries help busy readers (1)

remmelt (837671) | more than 6 years ago | (#19539571)

> Rosenberg broke that story by exhuming it from lots of other content on Shuttleworth's very active blog.
I don't think that word means what you think it means? Shuttleworth "broke the story," Rosenberg "commented on his blog."

> Shuttleworth clearly took the time to make sure that his comments were diplomatic and well-rounded
So basically you're saying that these comments weren't good enough? They shouldn't be diplomatic or well-rounded, they should be blog-o-ready, bite-size soundbytes?

We're heading towards a watered down global culture. Blogs, for the most part, add nothing but fluff. Slashdot is the place where busy readers can read the summary, then link to the original material. There is way too much link-my-blahg going on as is.

Sure, if the Rosenberg blog adds something or makes some really good points or combines news stories or has an interesting opinion or anything, it would be nice to add a link as an aside or afterthought. Or if Steve Rosenberg would be someone we know? Or if, like you say, he actually found the story himself at least? Now it's the main link and the actual thing isn't even linked in the /. summary.

> (Thanks to commenter Zeke for tipping me to this item)
Let's find commenter Zeke and link to HIS blog.

And come on, good fucking grief, the actual story is THREE PARAGRAPHS LONG. THREE! It's pasted in its entirety in the linked blog entry! Rosenberg adds four lines of summary and that's it! Deserving of nothing. Get your priorities straight.

Everyone kinda knew. (5, Interesting)

Howitzer86 (964585) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535253)

Canonical is out of range of Microsoft's Patent arsenal. Mark is also a smart guy and knows what's really going on.

I think everyone kinda knew this already, though it is nice to be sure.

Re:Everyone kinda knew. (5, Insightful)

rudlavibizon (948703) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535375)

Also I get the impression that he's not in for making quick cash out of linux. It looks like he has long term plans, not just with linux as a platform, but with free software as a development/business model.

Re:Everyone kinda knew. (0, Troll)

newr00tic (471568) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535411)

If everyone knew what was going on, they'd've switched to Mac already.

Re:Everyone kinda knew. (2, Interesting)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535533)

Canonical is out of range, but Ubuntu is partnering with U.S. companies who are signing on to this patent protection B.S. Like Dell, for instance.

I wonder what went on behind the scenes of Dell's decision to not allow a full range of support for the Ubuntu machines they are offering. I wonder what will go on behind the scenes of future Linux related decisions by distributors who are aligned on the other side of this issue.

Regards.

Re:Everyone kinda knew. (4, Informative)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535597)

umm news flash most likely due to folks raising Holy Hell about it they have stated that they will in fact do the 4 year "CompleteCare" on linux systems
(and i just checked and the option is back up) They said that somebody more or less fat fingered the data base (oops we sowii)

Re:Everyone kinda knew. (1)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535677)

The point is that Linux seems to require people raising holy hell to get the treatment it merits. Now one of the most successful distros is lining up contrary to some of their biggest potential partners in America.

I am glad they are standing up, I am worried about the results.

Regards.

Re:Everyone kinda knew. (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535973)

I wonder what went on behind the scenes of Dell's decision to not allow a full range of support for the Ubuntu machines they are offering.
I would guess something like this:

"So who's going to handle the calls we'll get about the Ubuntu systems?"

"Well, there's Joe and Larry."

"Anyone else?"

"Nope."

"Oh."

Re:Everyone kinda knew. (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535617)

Not only that, think of the blowback from the community if Shuttleworth sealed such a deal.

Ubuntu is still at a stage where a lot of the progress depends on hardwork of the True Believers of the community. Such a deal would kill their enthusiasm for Ubuntu because they say, "Look, Shuttleworth is just like the rest of the sell-outs." And then a fork would soon happen where lots of the movers/shakers migrate to.

Re:Everyone kinda knew. (0, Troll)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#19536093)

I agree he's a smart guy, which is why I'm having so much trouble figuring out why he picked gnome over KDE for Ubuntu.

Re:Everyone kinda knew. (1)

setagllib (753300) | more than 6 years ago | (#19537239)

It bothers me too, but I've decided to think it's because at the time the decision was made, GNOME may have had some kind of advantage over KDE for the target market Mark had in mind, such as technophiles who fear power and elegance and just want something brutish that mostly works like their Windows does. It's not like KDE has had anything less than first-class support, it's just not the 'root' distribution. There could also be problems with KDE being based on Qt, but I highly doubt anyone really cares about that because it doesn't affect your use of KDE at all.

Re:Everyone kinda knew. (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 6 years ago | (#19537553)

Well, considering a lot of the complaints regarding Ubuntu I've read have all been GNOME-specific (e.g., clipboard issues, menus, Cancel/OK instead of OK/Cancel, lack of customisation, shitty (literally) default theme, etc.), I think they would have been better off with KDE as the default. At least Kubuntu is moving along quite well nowadays, although it still feels like it's more for experienced KDE users who want a Debian-based system with more actual KDE support.

Re:Everyone kinda knew. (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538957)

Not sure what problems there would have been with KDE being based on Qt, other than it looking awesome. If you're referring to the FUD that just won't die about Qt having license incompatibility with GPL that wouldn't have been an issue since Qt licensed under the GPL well ahead of the release of Ubuntu.

The only real disadvantage I can see with going the KDE route is that there are a few apps that lack serious KDE-native alternatives to what exists for gnome (meaning gtk with the stupid file dialogs and all the bugs). I'm mostly thinking of GIMP. Though it's been stopped dead on usability for years and actually seems to be regressing so I'm not even sure it's worth mentioning. Think I'd rather hold my breath for a Linux-native port of Photoshop than for the GIMP developers to get serious about making it what it should be.

Re:Everyone kinda knew. (1)

PAjamian (679137) | more than 6 years ago | (#19537271)

I agree he's a smart guy, which is why I'm having so much trouble figuring out why he picked gnome over KDE for Ubuntu.

because Gnubuntu doesn't sound good?

Actually it doesn't sound that bad either, they could've flipped a coin for all I care, fact is you can have either easily.

Re:Everyone kinda knew. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19536861)

Actually, I think it did need checking. I hoped that Mark would act "smart" but was not quite sure honestly. Ok, his blog makes sense, but not knowing M$'s endgame or Mark's, I am still not that sure. Sorry.

source (4, Informative)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535299)

here is the source: http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/125#comme nt-112738 [markshuttleworth.com] It is good to know Mark doesn't fold under bogus patent threats like novell/xandros/linspire did. keep up the good work Ubuntu :)

Re:source (4, Interesting)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535333)

Indeed. Besides, the threats only affect those selling Linux. Microsoft can try and stop community Linux, but the backlash would be huge.

Re:source (1)

oever (233119) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535643)

Here [markshuttleworth.com]'s the official statement by Mark. This is not an official statement by Canonical or Ubuntu, but I do not think either will disagree with Marks position.

meanwhile at microsoft.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19535415)

ozzie: bitch, shuttle wont land, seems to have enough fuel.
steve: time to look at that french company.

Who? (2, Insightful)

ebcdic (39948) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535523)

You might at least say who this guy is. We aren't all experts on the personnel of every Linux distribution.

Re:Who? (4, Informative)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535647)

Shuttleworth runs Canonical Ltd, the folks who sponsor U/Ku/Xu/Edubuntu.

Re:Who? (1)

ebcdic (39948) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535765)

Yes, I found that out with Google. The point is that writers should take account of the likely knowledge of their readers, and however well known Mark Shuttleworth is in some circles, the readership of Slashdot is much wider. If your readers have to look up the subject of the article, you've got it wrong.

Re:Who? (4, Insightful)

pherthyl (445706) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535885)

If your readers have to look up the subject of the article, you've got it wrong.

Because news should only ever be about things everyone already knows! Heaven forbid that you might learn something new.

Re:Who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19539797)

Mark Shuttleworth has been mentioned in articles on Slashdot many times before. I think that the writers did take into account the likely knowledge of their readers. You because you don't know something that the summary assumes you do, 90% of the readership may still know it.

Re:Who? (1)

bonefry (979930) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535761)

What are you reading Slashdot then ?
Don't you know ? Here be geeks :)

Re:Who? (2, Insightful)

ebcdic (39948) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535783)

We may be geeks, but we're not all Linux-distribution geeks.

Re:Who? (1)

Hucko (998827) | more than 6 years ago | (#19537603)

I thought the criteria for geek was staying up to date with technology?

Re:Who? (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 6 years ago | (#19539291)

There's nothing "up to date" with various reconfigurations of the same old (mostly GNU) software packages, nor is there anything technically interesting about them, either.

One can be a geek and be interested in what the newest gadgets can do -and not know dick about software distributions.
One can be a geek and be interested in BSD virtual memory managment -and not know dick about software distributions.
One can be a geek and be interested in the latest innovations from APL -and not know dick about software distributions.

There are plenty of "geeks" and "nerds" who do [b]not[/b] breathlessly follow the ever-changing names and faces of software rebranders; and it would be polite for [b]their[/b] sake if a short explanation as to who Mark Shuttleforth is was posted.

Re:Who? (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 6 years ago | (#19540345)

Well, if you're using firefox, double click to highlight the name and right click to select 'search google for "Mark Shuttleworth"'.
Is that too advanced for you ? It even opens in a new tab.

Re:Who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19536037)

You don't have to know the "personnel of every Linux distribution".

Just the director of the distribution which is the future of Linux.

If distribution is the key to the future of Linux (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 6 years ago | (#19536451)

Than perhaps Slashdot should interview executives from WalMart and Best Buy.

Re:Who? (4, Funny)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 6 years ago | (#19536245)

You might at least say who this guy is. We aren't all experts on the personnel of every Linux distribution.

Please turn in your Slashdotter card, and exit the building. The hounds will be released in 5 minutes. :-)

Re:Who? (1)

algoa456 (716417) | more than 6 years ago | (#19537859)

Shuttleworth - from Cape Town, South Africa, Ubuntu is a Zulu word meaning togetherness / community. He started Thawte security and then sold it to a US company for loads of money. The guy is very wealthy and is not likely to be moved by Microsoft overtures or the promise of making money out of Ubuntu. He was the second space tourist and forked out $20 million for the trip. Seems a pretty sensible and grounded person.

Ramifications (2, Insightful)

fishthegeek (943099) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535629)

I've often wondered if Shuttleworth would turn out to be some sort of 21st century Dr. Faustus and sign a deal with the devil. He is a business man after all and Canonical is a business. It's pleasing to hear that he will not be directly working with Microsoft, but one has to wonder whether or not Ubuntu's collaboration with Dell and Linspire (both of whom have signed on with MS) mean to Canonical. Is he saying this now because in some indirect way Ubuntu becomes indemnified by default? I'm not saying one way or the other, and I certainly am not questioning His commitment to FOSS but it is curious to watch this happen. What one of us here wouldn't give our little used left testicle to just be a fly on the wall of those patent extor... errr.. licensing meetings between MS and insert your own company here.

Re:Ramifications (3, Insightful)

monkeyboythom (796957) | more than 6 years ago | (#19536317)

From what i have gathered by reading columns through the Internet (Internet!=true) is that Mr. Shuttleworth is okay with where he stands in life. He built a business that in turn was bought by Verisign which made him a lot of money. Using some of that money, he created Canonical as a framework for housing the Ubuntu development team.

So does he need to cross license with Microsoft? No. Why bother? He doesn't need the money, his company is small in terms of staff and he set forth a goal which is not to compete directly with Microsoft but a more altruistic level by addressing the computing needs of people in general. Hence the African word, Ubuntu, which means 'Humanity to others', or 'I am what I am because of who we all are.'

With the latest level, 7.04, Canonical has made great strides in what I call the 'YMAD' (Your Mom and Dad's) environment. Using the Live CD, you can run the Ubuntu OS from the CD upon booting. Except for some encrypted wireless schemes, this OS basically runs well for the YMADs without us geeks stepping in to play help desk. But again, there are issues so it is not perfect. Installing the OS from the CD needs work as well.

Shuttleworth has taken the high road in his blog to state that he is pursuing an free (as in beer) Ubuntu or nothing configuration, meaning all apps, runtimes, and codecs are free according to GPL. And he is right to do so. By maintaining a clear Ubuntu track, this OS does not get bogged down in maintaining cross licensing or product dependencies. However there is one big dependency - Debian.

Debian must not sell out to Microsoft or Ubuntu will have a very rough road ahead. And for Debian not go with Microsoft will take the whole community to back it.

The ramifications? Microsoft is picking up the Linux stragglers from the herd. While in of itself is basically harmless to the Linux community, an aggregate of Linux distros may in effect encircle the community and slow it down due to the time it takes to fork and go on separately. Microsoft has the dollars and sheer momentum to go down this path. Ultimately, it will come down to [pure] Linux having just a few main branches to compete with Microsoft.

Re:Ramifications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19536857)

If i had to pick a distro which won't go with Microsoft, that'll be Debian. They allways adhere to the DFSG and they're very clear with agreements: if it's not extensible to all users and forks, not. So we're safe :)

Re:Ramifications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19536883)

Debian must not sell out to Microsoft or Ubuntu will have a very rough road ahead. And for Debian not go with Microsoft will take the whole community to back it.
There's absolutely no chance that Debian will sell out to Microsoft. The whole community doesn't need to back Debian on this...

Re:Ramifications (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 6 years ago | (#19537567)

Debian are the people who renamed Firefox to Iceweasel due to trademark issues; there isn't a snowball's chance in hell that they'd do anything cooperative with Microsoft.

Re:Ramifications (0, Offtopic)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 6 years ago | (#19537599)

MS and insert your own company here.
I think you're a little bit confused about who is inserting what where...

Looking forward to the consolidation. (5, Insightful)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535631)

This is great. Hopefully the Linux community will now consolidate around Canonical and Red Hat -- already, two leaders who have done well by listening to what people want and simply delivering quality free software without any strings attached -- now, the two who are sane enough to avoid getting in bed with Microsoft.

As the also-rans sign their lives away to the Beast of Redmond, their users will disappear. They will become irrelevant, because nobody wants to run Microsoft Linux. And the fragmentation of Linux will gradually go away as everyone consolidates around Ubuntu and Red Hat (and Red Hat respins such as CentOS).

I'm looking forward to it.

Re:Looking forward to the consolidation. (1)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535703)

We can't blame Microsoft for the fragmentation of GNU/Linux ... nor will the temporary unity of fighting Microsoft make that fragmentation go away. Fundamentally, the fragmentation of the OS is a result of the fierce--perhaps even rabid--demand for independence from the community. Too many people insist on doing things their way, or not doing it at all.

That was Apple's problem--Steve Jobs wanted to do things his way, or not at all. That fierce desire for independence, and for charting his own course, was (and continues to be) a stumbling block to Apple's relevance in the market. But instead of one headstrong maverick at Apple, we have dozens of headstrong mavericks in the Linux community.

Re:Looking forward to the consolidation. (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#19537683)

I assume you're talking about the different distributions here which has nothing to do with the upstream projects that people work on as well as the fact that different distributions are trying to achieve different goals.

Re:Looking forward to the consolidation. (1)

bonefry (979930) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535835)

Canonical and Red Hat are companies that may change their priorities ... always remember that.

The Linux community is already consolidated around community-driven distributions like Debian, Fedora and Ubuntu (it is community-driven), and I don't have any doubts that the Ubuntu community will do the right thing and fork Ubuntu should the worst happens ... because after all, in the words of Richard Stallman, we want software that's FREE, not 80% free.

Re:Looking forward to the consolidation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19536973)

Yes, yes and yes. I refuse to applaud anyone who has been fostered from the start by the FOSS community and now, late -at best-, speaks up. And so what if he changes his mind in a couple of years? What's in place to get someone like Shuttle worth to adhere to the principles of those who really are true-believers in FOSS and do most of the work? I can not imagine anything... So off we go on faith, while he goes shuttling off on this private jet or something.

Re:Looking forward to the consolidation. (1)

SpiritGod21 (884402) | more than 6 years ago | (#19537275)

I went with OpenSuSE 10.2 at work because it Just Works(TM) with Active Directory and Windows networks. For the environment we have at our university, OpenSuSE just seems to work better. But when I needed to rebuild my laptop (which is only used by my fiance to browse the web, check email, and play World of Warcraft), I decided to put Ubuntu on it. I'm going to get her a laptop in a few months, probably one of the Dell Ubuntu ones, and figured I should start her off now getting used to the OS.

It went so smoothly, I installed Ubuntu over SuSE. It has been very slick, and for the first time ever, it feels like Ubuntu is Just Working for me. It never has before... and the Synaptics Package Manager is so much faster than YaST that I'm completely sold. Feels like Gnome is more efficient on Ubuntu as well.

Consider me consolidated. Novell's agreement with Microsoft (though I didn't read about it until long after the fact) put a sour taste in my mouth. I'm relatively new to Linux, but a big pull for me was to escape M$. I feel a bit more free using Ubuntu.

Re:Looking forward to the consolidation. (1)

sdhoigt (1095451) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538135)

Agreed.

Fortunately, Ubuntu and Red Hat haven't caved into the current (definitely passing) trend to hop into bed with Microsoft. And a dangerous romp that is.

The power really is with Ubuntu and Red Hat anyway as they're both the top distros in their target market (desktop and server). Keep up the great work!

SD

Re:Looking forward to the consolidation. (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 6 years ago | (#19539365)

>And the fragmentation of Linux will gradually go away ...

"I wish that linux had but a single neck, that I might chain it" Caligula, by way of B. Gates

Re:Looking forward to the consolidation. (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 6 years ago | (#19539805)

Hopefully the Linux community will now consolidate around Canonical and Red Hat

Debian? Where would Canonical be without them?

Re:Looking forward to the consolidation. (1)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 6 years ago | (#19539869)

Debian? Where would Canonical be without them?


Debian is to Ubuntu as Fedora is to Red Hat: the beta version.

applause (2, Interesting)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 6 years ago | (#19535695)

Mr. Shuttleworth is to be applauded for not bending to Microsoft. Bending to Microsoft is capitulating to the FUD climate and ultimately does more harm to Linux than good. Interoperability is a good thing, but at what cost? Have software patents and measly threats turned us all into scared little rabbits? I am not much of a Linux fan, instead favoring BSD, but I have to give credit for Mark Shuttleworth challenging Microsoft to put its money where its mouth is. These thinly veiled threats by Microsoft represent nothing more than a company in the beginning of its death throes. Microsoft is loosing its ability to innovate. Open source may actually save Microsoft and its own executives see it as nothing more than a cancer. Once Samba releases version 4 [samba.org] and the Open Change Project [openchange.org] makes its first release, Microsoft will have a serious threat to its Active Directory and Exchange dominance. Face it, MS SQL server isn't as irreplaceable as Microsoft would have you think, Share Point Server is purely redundant, and Apache is the web server Howitzer. Microsoft has an excellent chance to open source its protocols, streamline its business model, and take advantage of all the free community development to work out the myriad of bugs and problems. Microsoft does not have the problem of market penetration so, by open sourcing its protocols and using its marketing machine, there is no serious threat to long term profitability. Conversely, its products would be made that much better.

The real story is SJVN (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19536051)

Although it shouldn't come as any surprise, once again SJVN shows his true colors, trolling and misquoting - which is partly what prompted Mark to repeat himself more clearly.

http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS5160975921.html [linux-watch.com]

Once again, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols proves that he is a Microsoft shill who should be forever ignored by intelligent, thinking people.

Re:The real story is SJVN (1)

deskin (1113821) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538363)

Once again, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols proves that he is a Microsoft shill who should be forever ignored by intelligent, thinking people.

That's the impression I got from the article. Nothing but poor armchair speculation: he quotes Shuttleworth as saying `I'd love to work with Microsoft', but can't bother to give a citation for the quote; he shamelessly cross-links his own pieces, and then asks his readers, `did you read my other stuff?', as though to suggest that those who haven't are less than quality human beings. His condescension nearly reached through the screen and physically browbeat me.

The worst part is, the pages don't have a place to comment and point out how he was so wrong, so I'm left with no recourse other than to point it out here.

Dear Ballmer. (1)

monkeyboythom (796957) | more than 6 years ago | (#19536155)

NUTS.

Signed,

Mark Shuttleworth

Re:Dear Ballmer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19537529)

Who is Patton, then?

Re:Dear Ballmer. (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538843)

Excellent adaptation of a most appropriate famous line!

My hat's off to you, sir.

I'm kinda surprised that there seems to be lack of recognition of this quote with this crowd...Hmmm?

Here it goes... (4, Insightful)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 6 years ago | (#19536335)

Eben Moglen has stated that there is a Waterloo [cnn.com] to be fought some where in this current attack from Microsoft. I think this situation is more analogous to the American Revolutionary War because this is more about freedom. I believe Mark Shuttleworth has accomplished the equivalent of the Boston Tea party with his statements. In effect he's saying that he won't pay the Microsoft tax on his freedom, regardless of how insignificant or silly the medium of that tax. We all (should?) know what happened 2 years after the Tea Party :

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled;
Here once the embattled farmers stood;
And fired the shot heard 'round the world.
So who will it be?

Re:Here it goes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19536947)

Now we just need to tar and feather Ballmer.

Re:Here it goes... (1)

g_lightyear (695241) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538993)

Strikes me as a lot closer to the civil war. A lot of good developers, our brothers and sisters in the South and North, are going to get hurt in the process of fighting a war that neither side can actually "win" - resulting in one side that claims victory, but changes none of the behaviour that led to that war's existence in the first place.

The civil war did not end slavery; Microsoft's licensing war will not end intellectual property practices.

Digging the trenches (2, Insightful)

boolithium (1030728) | more than 6 years ago | (#19536771)

Linux and free software as a whole represent a new business model. It's good to see one of the big players standing with the community. Most people say microsoft is just bluffing, but I'm not one of them. The reality is that open source software is pressuring the entire industry to change the way they do business. Microsoft will not change, and will not hesitate to remove any threat. I think this still comes back to novell saving their company with the community's product, but not being willing to hold their ground with us. So here we are just like in pre 2000, except that we have more than redhat to add legitemacy, we have ubuntu.

Cool things (2, Insightful)

sybesis (1095871) | more than 6 years ago | (#19536933)

Thats a cool thing. I was hoping that it would happen because Ubuntu is so cool and don't actually need anything from microsoft to become better. Interoportability is just a lie in my opinion... Why would microsoft want to make windows more portable for linux while it isn't interoportable on previous version of windows... dx10 and dx9 games. Why would someone want to make windows work with linux when he can make linux work with linux?

Re:Cool things (1)

Gryle (933382) | more than 6 years ago | (#19537109)

Why would someone want to make windows work with linux when he can make linux work with linux?

Because, for the time being, people are still using Microsoft. Linux is the unknown and therefore scary. If you can show Joe Sixpack that your Linux box and his Microsoft box can play well together, he becomes less scared of Linux. Then you show him the respective price tags and watch as he sees the light.

Re:Cool things (1)

sybesis (1095871) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538011)

But if thats the plan, why would microsoft want to make it happen? I was talking about companies and corporation that own servers and anything. Why would people bother to setup a network of computer with linux and windows. When they can simply put everything in linux freely. I don't know how do they work in other office, But using ssh / svn / any source manager and a lot of tool is much more harder on windows than it is in linux. people may say that console is difficult?! But seriously, having to write a simple command line to make a task for you is much more productive than using any interface asking you to click there and there. But Joe Sixpack won't care to buy a pricier computer as he know his game will run on it with windows. Linux need commercial games to become a real alternative for Joe Sixpack. Thats the same story for mac... Mac without games = professional only or mostly professional. Mac with games = Mac for everyone Mac and Linux are really similar in many ways.

Re:Cool things (1)

Gryle (933382) | more than 6 years ago | (#19540355)

I don't think MS wants to make it happen. Frankly I think all their talk about interoperability is lip-service. My post was in regards to why Linux developers would want to make Linux play nice with Windows.

Linspire (1)

QueePWNzor (1044224) | more than 6 years ago | (#19537563)

Considering the murderous rage:) GPL3/Stallman is showing towards these deals, it seems as though the FSF wants Linspire (and Novell and Xandros) to pay dearly. But what I'm wondering is, as Linspire has made these patent deals, what will it mean for Cannonical. Didn't Linspire and Cannonical make agreements? If their agreements are done legally (rather than Mark&Mike talking, I don't know too many details) will that mean that any GPL3 consequences about these deals could affect Cannonical through Linspire? I'm no lawyer, so I don't know. And could this end the two companies' relationship? We need to look at a broader picture, as Shuttleworth is a big guy in the business, and has both legal (to Linspire?) and political influence.

Re:Linspire (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#19537731)

I don't believe it has anything to do with Linspire at all as Ubuntu is mostly interested in working on and sharing code/bugs/translations with everyone to get things done more widespread not just kept in a particular distribution.

Re:Linspire (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 6 years ago | (#19538355)

Linspire is based on Ubuntu... Not the other way around...
So if anything the patent protection will flow to Ubuntu
without Mark lifting a finger (assuming GPLv3 adoption that is)
Then... Ubuntu is Debian based, and so on and so forth to the
Linux Kernel. Maybe... I'm a bit fuzzy on GPLv3 so far... any one
care to enlighten?

Re:Linspire (1)

livewire98801 (916940) | more than 6 years ago | (#19539093)

Wasn't Lindows around long before Ubuntu was? I thought Lindows was orignially based on pure Debian, then adding in the Wine software and some licensed codecs. When Microsoft jumped them and Linspire came about, there was a lot of reshuffling, but Linspire was still based on Debian, and Ubuntu was still being developed.

Anyone care to correct me here?
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