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De Icaza Regrets Novell/Microsoft Pact

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the win-some-lose-some dept.

Novell 264

Ian Lamont writes "Novell Vice President and GNOME architect Miguel de Icaza sounded off at a MIX 08 panel on a number of topics. First, he claimed that he was 'not happy' with Novell's cross-patent licensing agreement with Microsoft, saying that if he had his way, the company would have stayed with the open-source community. He also said that neither Windows nor Linux are relevant in the long term, thanks to Web 2.0 business models: 'They might be fantastic products ... but Google has shown itself to be a cash cow. There is a feature beyond selling corporate [software] and patents ... it's going to be owning end users.' He also tangled with Mike Schroepfer, a Mozilla engineering executive, about extending patent protection for Moonlight to third parties. However, de Icaza did say that Novell has 'done the best it could to balance open-source interests with patent indemnification.' We discussed the beginnings of the deal between Microsoft and Novell back in 2006."

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264 comments

Ah. I see. (5, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680070)

Oh, well, that just makes it all better now, doesn't it? Miguel says he's sorry, guys. Will you forgive him?

Re:Ah. I see. (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680184)

Will you forgive him?
Why does he need forgiveness, that was a brilliant business move!

I still don't see what he regrets, Novell only paid the low low price of $350 million [cnet.com] and what do they have to show for that? They can put "Microsoft won't sue us and we'll be interoperable with Windows" on their asset sheet. Buyer's remorse? How could that possibly be! Their investors must be please as punch!

Re:Ah. I see. (5, Insightful)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681124)

Actually Microsoft paid Novell the $350 million dollars. Which is why Novell isn't interested in backing out of the deal.

In other words, Microsoft was willing to pay Novell $350 million dollars to put a cloud over Linux and Free Software. Novell, in return has to pay a token amount for each commercial distribution sold. Novell is as happy as can be with the situation. After all, Novell can tell its customers that it has taken care of the Microsoft patent issue. So when Microsoft starts talking trash about Free Software and patents Novell can say that it has the solution.

The real problem is that Novell relies on a lot of hackers that aren't part of Novell, and that, in many cases, actually compete against Novell. Now Novell has a deal with Microsoft that makes it look dangerous to purchase your Free Software from anyone but Novell, and that doesn't make these third party hackers happy.

Make no mistake, Novell made out like a bandit. It received well over a quarter of a billion dollars in cash, it became the "preferred Linux vendor" for Microsoft's sales associates, and SuSE Linux is now differentiated from all of the other Linux vendors because Novell has a patent deal with Microsoft. This differentiation has allowed Novell to snag some big clients that almost certainly would have gone with Red Hat otherwise. Novell doesn't have even a tiny bit of buyer's remorse. Novell just wants to be able to keep the Microsoft deal and not lose the trust of the Free Software community that it relies on for more Free Software.

Re:Ah. I see. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681150)

Wow, I totally had that backwards, thank you for pointing out my error!

Re:Ah. I see. (4, Funny)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680264)

Let he who has never used proprietary software cast the first stone.

Re:Ah. I see. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22680476)

> Let he who has never used proprietary software cast the first stone.

Makes no sense. Unless you make it: Let he who has never used proprietary software, given the choice, cast the first stone. If you want the analogy with sin to stand, sins are committed voluntarily or they are not sins.

Re:Ah. I see. (2, Insightful)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681204)

You always have the *choice* not to use proprietary software, using proprietary software is always *voluntary*. Whether their are alternatives with similar functionality is beside the point and has nothing to do with the use of force or volition.

Re:Ah. I see. (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681378)

If you don't know it's proprietary because you never took the time to find out, you're still at fault. If you take a job with an employer that forces you to use proprietary software, aren't you just like a guard at a concentration camp?*

* Godwin's law invoked purposely and is used in a sarcastic manner. Author of this post in no way endorses the view that proprietary software is evil.

Re:Ah. I see. (3, Insightful)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680550)

Let he who has never used proprietary software cast the first stone.
How about he who does not use any proprietary software now? /me takes aim at a soft spot

Re:Ah. I see. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22680856)

Proprietary software is usually closed-source, and if not will come with a very detailed EULA about how it's source may be distributed. This is an issue about software which is supposed to be free to use, modify, and distribute being under the control of a 3rd-party's patent, and therefore compromising the GPL.

Re:Ah. I see. Ahhhh, will those stones be (2, Funny)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681252)

Whetstones? Drystones? Gelatenous Cajones stones? Can these stones break windows?

Re:Ah. I see. (3, Funny)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680278)

Forgiveness? Pfft. In this day in age, you know how long it took for me to find this pitchfork?

Next time, *I* get the torch.

No (4, Insightful)

sjwest (948274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680378)

Oh dear - permit me to laugh at Miguel for having the last laugh on him and his 'company'.

Yes Gnome is ok, the ooxml feature in the pipe line well thats a mistake but you got to keep Ron (thats his ceo) sweet don't you

Google is open source. If google had to pay microsoft licensing ms would not sell them to Google. So I submit that Novell isn't relevant and if we take his word that the patent fud has not improved that much Novells prospects then the problem lies in the boardroom at Novell.

Miguel please do look forward to becoming a microsoft employee.

Re:No (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680424)

You speak the truth. Novell is the one that is moving towards irrelevancy. It's deal with Microsoft is meaningless. Microsoft won't dare sue anyone over its patents, particularly as the EU looks for any excuse to truly do the company massive damage.

Other than Evolution, is there any reason at all to give a damn about Novell? And if some of Microsoft's protocols do finally see the light of day, I'm sure the FOSS community will be able to come up with some groupware clients.

Re:No (2, Interesting)

cloakable (885764) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681066)

I don't know about Evolution. Given that it's in maintenance mode now, and apparently will be for the rest of it's lifetime, I can see Evolution stopping maturing, and starting aging, very quickly. I've been unable to hook it directly to a Kolab server, for example.

To be fair, about the only things I've seen that can hook directly to Kolab are Kontact and Horde, though. But still, Kolab works extremely well for me as a personal Exchange replacement.

Re:No (1)

dhavleak (912889) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681028)

Google is open source. If google had to pay microsoft licensing ms would not sell them to Google
What?? What part of Google is open source? What part of the EU and US DOJ judgements leave MS the option of denying licensing protocols and IP to google?

Re:Ah. I see. (3, Insightful)

Eric Pierce (636318) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680998)

People are allowed to change their mind. I still haven't gotten over all of the contributions of Miguel's to open source/society to have ever considered holding a grudge on the guy.

Eric

Re:Ah. I see. (1)

Lugae (88858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681008)

I'd forgive him if he had anything to do with the decision [tirania.org]. While he seems to have initially thought that collaboration would have been a good thing, he didn't have anything to do with the terms of the deal and found out less than a week before the public announcement. Asking for collaboration isn't really the same thing is a cross-patent licensing agreement, which is what happened, and which he didn't have anything to do with.

Not slashdottish (2, Insightful)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680096)

That's the kind of things people cannot understand on /. Here you are always "there" or always "here". You are always black or always white. There cannot be middle tones.

Fortunatly there is a worls out there and there are people like Miguel and a lot others that are human (and not Stallbots) and are somewhere in the middle, can make mistakes, can change their minds and are not so afraid of being politically correct in the eyes of the "community" (oh, what a horrible word).

Re:Not slashdottish (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22680736)

This isn't about someone who's neutral to the whole Microsoft/Linux thing. This is about a guy who has consistently attempted to push Microsoft-controlled technologies into the core of the Linux desktop. Anyone who's been around for the past 10-20 years knows that Microsoft has a really bad habit of perverting standards to screw competitors in the most unethical way imaginable. Miguel's insistence on pushing .NET and OOXML has been at best confusing, and at worst damn suspicious.

And now, after years of being abused for this, he's putting the icing on the cake of making an ass of himself by finally admitting that, yes, it really is a damn stupid idea.

It involves de Icaza... (1)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680100)

Tag this story 'Quisling'.

Re:It involves de Icaza... (1)

mcpkaaos (449561) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680292)

Only if I can tag your comment 'Godwin'.

Re:It involves de Icaza... (0)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680428)

A deal. But really, I don't think that it's fair to equate collaboration with Microsoft, with collaboration with the Nazis.

I mean, the Nazis never would have released ME.

Poor judgement (5, Insightful)

bitserf (756357) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680132)

Not sure what he's trying to achieve by saying this.

To people in the OSS camp, this will seem like too little, too late. That ship has already sailed.

To people in Redmond, this isn't exactly inspiring confidence in the reliability of Novell as a partner, and he's bashing their partnership at their own conference, no less.

And the people "above his paygrade" are probably not going to be too happy with him either.

Re:Poor judgement (4, Insightful)

Unoti (731964) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680298)

Maybe what he's trying to accomplish is saying what he's thinking. Perhaps he's not a corporate drone that values the "good of the company" above truth.

Re:Poor judgement (4, Insightful)

msuzio (3104) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680728)

You cannot be a corporate officer of a publicly held company and do that. That will get you sued by investors. You don't need to be a corporate drone to understand that you have to be circumspect and held to a higher standard once you're a VP. If you can't learn when to STFU, don't take a job that is going to involve that.

Re:Poor judgement (4, Informative)

jhoger (519683) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681122)

Of course, anything can get you sued. It requires no action on your part other than existence. The bar is pretty damn low.

Do you have any examples of where a company has been sued because one member of the management team stated a prefaced, personal opinion contrary to the corporate strategic decision?

Yes he has a fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders and the corporation. But a personal opinion is unlikely to become a legal issue as long as he handles it right and the board is OK with it.

(IANAL)

-- John.

Re:Poor judgement (1)

hdparm (575302) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680756)

If that was the case, he would've never said anything positive about the deal. Let alone OOXML.

Re:Poor judgement (1)

bitserf (756357) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680830)

Yes, but the point is, it doesn't matter what he says he believes to be the truth, since its not going to change company direction or strategy (money in the bank already, as it were).

So what is he accomplishing? Crocodile tears are crocodile tears, and convince no-one.

Except now, continuing in this vein, he may end up giving Microsoft a little leverage, speaking as he does as a public representative of Novell (who knows, I don't know what the agreement between them reads).

Hence, poor judgement. Maybe he'll sleep a little better, but that's about it, in my opinion.

Re:Poor judgement (3, Interesting)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680410)

People at Microsoft that spun the deal are grinning ear-to-ear right now... he's making them very happy! Microsoft successfully "collared" a once 100% closed source company from embracing open source business and they gave them enough money to buy the second most successful Linux vendor and "collar" them too.

He just realized what slashdot "jerks" were saying from the start. Any Novell open source is "fruit of the poisoned tree" to the community. Even previously open projects they worked on like samba were in serious trouble of being hijacked by MS IP. (note how MS tried to hijack them in the EU settlement after trying to pay off Novell failed) Novell can only "share" stuff like Moonlight and Mono with other COMPANIES that have Cross-license agreements with MS... SCO, Apple, IBM, etc. Even if they write stuff from scratch (they're not covered for copying MS technology either!!) it's always considered "poisoned" because nobody outside Novell can prove that MS IP wasn't looked at to develop the tech. (That's what SCO started suing IBM for at the beginning) The agreement they signed didn't allow them to DEVELOP technology WITH Microsoft, only not to have their customer sued for using the products Novell provided. He's realizing that's a BIG difference to what he was selling when telling every body the deal was so great.

In short the suits "above" him knew this up front, what the deal really meet and they took the money anyway. He's the only person "surprised" by this.

Re:Poor judgement (1)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680964)

You could say the same of Canonical or Red Hat -- they might implement something and later find out that there's a Microsoft-owned patent covering their work. The difference is, with Novel, only the end users get screwed, not the producer.

Re:Poor judgement (2, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680422)

Actually, I don't think the ship has sailed, as you say. We (I say that with trepidation) talked about MS slowly going down the drain some months ago. Even the MS haters didn't want to hear that kind of thing said. The trouble is that MS has been consistently doing things ever since that will help push them down the drain. It matters not how you look at MS these days, they are not doing so well. It's very difficult to keep going once you hit the top of the heap - The only direction is down in all directions. They can't buy Google or Yahoo. MSN is toast. It's just not looking good.

To say that this is the beginning is not inappropriate. The beginning of a world where MS does not have a stranglehold on all things related to computing. It may have cost Novell quite a bit to figure it out, but they did, and in admitting as much they set an example for others to use in deciding their own personal courses.

Lately, more and more people are taking up some variant of GNU/Linux and writing off any investment they have in MS only software that won't run under Wine. I feel confident enough to say that we'll see more business/countries/education systems/people saying good bye to MS forever... or at least until they who will remain in Redmond decide to create something worth switching back for.

MS not doing so well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22680714)

>It matters not how you look at MS these days, they are not doing so well.

I look at them as a company attempting to recover from a pitiful product launch and making record quarterly profits nonetheless (last quarter 6.4b income on 16.3b revenue).

We should all be doing so lousy.

Re:Poor judgement (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680760)

The rest of this aside... I don't think the last chapter of the book about Microsoft buying Yahoo! is written yet. Not that I'm predicting MS will successfully buy Yahoo! in the near future either, but I doubt the initial offer was much more than your choice of an opening gambit or a shot across the bow.

Re:Poor judgement (1)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681288)

The rest of this aside... I don't think the last chapter of the book about Microsoft buying Yahoo! is written yet. Not that I'm predicting MS will successfully buy Yahoo! in the near future either, but I doubt the initial offer was much more than your choice of an opening gambit or a shot across the bow.
It'll never pass Europe's Antitrust laws. Look at how long it took for them to approve Google's acquisition of DoubleClick. And Google didn't have any $multi-hundred-billion fines to pay the EU, either.

Web 2.0 eh? (4, Interesting)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680178)

First .NET, now Web 2.0 (I hate that phrase). He knows a bandwagon when he sees one.

But I still fail to see how Web 2.0 will make an operating system irrelevant. The browser has to run on something. The server has to run on something too. And with the talk about "local web 2.0 apps", they might even be the same machine. Then you'll really need a good OS to schedule and mediate the needless and vast layers of extra complexity.

Re:Web 2.0 eh? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22680202)

Virtual machines, each running one specific thing. No 'operating' system needed.

Re:Web 2.0 eh? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680284)

Virtual machines, each running one specific thing. No 'operating' system needed.


And if the VM mediates everything (including, presumably hardware access and scheduling on the real CPU), then it is an operating system. In fact you appear to have simply proposed a microkernel OS running in a VM.

Re:Web 2.0 eh? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22680488)

Its virtual servers all the way down...

Re:Web 2.0 eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681262)

you spelled turtles wrong...

Re:Web 2.0 eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22680600)

Since shared access to resources must still be regulated between the VMs you need an exokernel, hypervisor, whatever. That's OS functionality.

Re:Web 2.0 eh? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22680650)


Virtual machines, each running one specific thing. No 'operating' system needed.


Hmmm... Someone is going to have schedule those virtual machines so that they can all access the resources that they need without bumping into each other.

And there will have to be some way for the "Virtual machines" to communicate amongst themselves for simple things like cut and paste.

We could call that some one ans some way, an "operating system"

Whadayaknow? We needed it after all.

Re:Web 2.0 eh? (4, Funny)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680724)

But I still fail to see how Web 2.0 will make an operating system irrelevant. The browser has to run on something.

No, it's web browsers all the way down.

Re:Web 2.0 eh? (4, Interesting)

ComputerSlicer23 (516509) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680732)

I think he means this in the same way that Marc Andreessen meant it back in ~1996 or so when he talked about making the Browser as the new platform. In same ways, the way Java is a platform, and makes the OS "irrelavent". Essentially, all of them see Web Applications as the destroyer of coupling and vendor lock-in (well at least to Vendor desktop software, you'll be just as locked in to the Web 2.0 applications if they have your data, and won't let you share or mix and match). The thought being that, as long as the OS/platform has a decent Web Browser, it doesn't matter if it's Linux, FreeBSD, QNX, Windows XP/Vista, or MacOS. The experience you have with Google Mail is mostly derived from the quality of the browser implementation of specific technologies, and Google's ability to deal with the sub-standard aspects of that implementation across browers. It's pretty much identical to me on my Windows machine, on my Linux machine, or my MacOS machine. Thus the OS is irrelevant.

I'm not sure I believe in the mindset of these folks. They are moving off into a land of even less reliable, less robust, and less secure. However, having control of the central server, and only being dependent upon the browser and less dependent upon DLL's upon a remote machine is interesting. However, I'm not convinced that in the long run it'll be a viable solution. I really like owning my data. I really like having it all work off line. I know work is being done in those areas, it'll definitely be interesting.

Again, the point of this isn't the the Operating system will be less useful, or necessary. It is just that any good user agent will get you access to enough "applications" that are good enough, it won't matter what Operating System you run. Any "native" OS applications that aren't browsers could just as easily be replaced with Web 2.0 applications, and move along with life.

Not that I agree with any of it, it's merely my explaination of the perspective I think those folks are bringing to the problem.

Kirby

Re:Web 2.0 eh? (3, Interesting)

msuzio (3104) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680846)

I remember when Marc and some other bigwigs demoed their initial vision for Netscape 4.0 to a firm I was with in 1996 (maybe they just called it "Communicator", I don't remember the exact package we were being sold on). It looked like a complete desktop environment, the browser went full-screen and suddenly widgets were flying all over and we were pretty much being shown a WebOS.

I have never seen an audience so under-whelmed and outright scared. They just could not deal with the notion that Netscape was proposing that the OS was irrelevant. "But... but... where's my Windows desktop?".

They left essentially being told "no, please don't work on this -- we wouldn't want it". I had the strange feeling they heard that a lot, and whatever this concept was it died pretty stillborn. The version of Communicator they finally came out with was far far less ambitious than the demo I saw that day.

Re:Web 2.0 eh? (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681180)

he talked about making the Browser as the new platform

He did, in a way, but not exactly. Netscape was flush with IPO money and continued success in the as of yet unresolved browser wars when they started talking about "collaboration" and "groupware". They wanted to turn their product (Navigator) into something that would allow people to collaborate seamlessly in many different ways (something that no one really accomplished until Ray Ozzie took the lessons he learned with Notes and and created Groove). They then proceeded to systematically butcher the core web browser in the name of progress, until they were left with a mess that wasn't a browser *or* a collaboration product, let along a groupware platform.

Then they piggybacked Sun's antitrust complaints against Microsoft and created the classic "Microsoft killed Netscape" meme, when the reality is they committed lack-of-focus-and-feature-creep suicide quite effectively without any outside help. Of course Microsoft's bundling prevented further competition (and stagnated the browser market and the web in the process), but by then Netscape had become incapable of shipping working software and were completely irrelevant other than the fact they had created a broken "standard" that we were all forced to support (NS4) for the next half decade or so.

The other day I read an article (something related to the Yahoo deal) where Marc Andreessen calls Microsoft a great company. I think he's probably starting to feel guilty in his old age.

Re:Web 2.0 eh? (5, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680804)

Well, not to mention that true web "applications" suck ass. Why would I run a browser that opens a file on my computer which loads an application in a VM sandbox... why? What's the point? And talk about lock-in.. why would I want my personal data on some else's server, only able to retrieve it at thier whim? It's not like we even have reliable internet connections.

This whole "desktop will be irrlevent" is stupid. We were there, did that, it sucked on a LAN, I can't see how it wouldn't suck more on the internet.

Re:Web 2.0 eh? (1)

Mex (191941) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681014)

Well, you're a geek and know that it's stupid.

But for the average person, it's cool to be able to connect with other people on Facebook, and play Scrabulous, even if they can do whatever they want with your information.

Re:Web 2.0 eh? (1)

toppavak (943659) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680808)

I don't think he necessarily meant that the operating systems themselves would become irrelevant so much as the user experiences tied to them. Having just come back from a student group that was given the opportunity speak with a lot of execs and engineers out in the Valley, I can definitely sense that the focus has shifted from the desktop experience to the internet experience- to such an extent that inspiration has begun to bleed from one into the other. We're seeing this especially with mobile devices which seek to separate the Desktop and the Internet- the iPhone, as much as I am not a fan, and the iPod Touch have done this beautifully, the SideKick/Hiptop have done it almost as well, if not better (IMHO), The Nokia N8** and the eeePC have tried to skirt on opposite sides of a middle path and have been pretty successful at it.

The Next Big Thing(tm) won't be the next Windows, the next release of Ubuntu nor the next OS X or OS XI, its going to be a platform capable of delivering the look and feel of the web experience that you see on all of these mobile internet-centric devices on laptop and desktop platforms. The File Manager, the Application Window and Desktop will likely not disappear, but a fundamental change is coming to the world of Personal Computing and the result will not be recognizable as the Win/OSX/Linux OS's of today. (Disclaimer: to the End User anyways)

Meet the new web, same as the old web... (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680180)

I think he expects too much out of "Web 2.0"... just as people expected too much out of the Web in terms of finance and relevance ten years ago.

That's not to say that we didn't see a lot of money out of the dot com era, or that the Web isn't much more relevant to life than it was then... but I'm not really seeing OSes become irrelevant in the near future. There's always a guy out there saying that everything will happen on the Web, and Google Documents or no Google Documents, we're not there yet and I'm not sure we ever will be.

Re:Meet the new web, same as the old web... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680748)

I think it is a lot more relevant than it was a few years ago. It has all but killed the yellow pages. The vast majority of people when they need to find something just Google it.
IMHO the real failing of Web 2.0 is the lack of integration that small businesses can pull off. Take your local Pizza place. The chains all have websites where you can order on line and even pay online. The local place which has much better pizza has to use the phone and hope you have the phone number or remember it.

Just about every business needs a web presence and most could do with some integration but right now it is too complex for them.

Web 2.0 can only cover a small portion of apps (4, Insightful)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680798)

What, exactly, would a Web 2.0 3D solid-modeling CAD program be? Or Web 2.0 3D games? Web 2.0 Medical imaging systems?

People who say operating systems are irrelevant because of the web immediately go into the "non-credible tech pundit" bin for me, because they've already shown, by that statement, that they *don't get it*. There are *many* applications we use computers for, which would not be good fits for the "Web 2.0" model. Sure, basic data storage and retrieval apps (documents, databases) can be made "Web 2.0" applications. But what is a Web 2.0 media player (the closest you get is something like Flash or Silverlight/Moonlight, and those are basically native Apps that display their output embedded in the browser window).

Exactly! (2, Interesting)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680924)

What, exactly, would a Web 2.0 3D solid-modeling CAD program be?

Probably, the closest thing I can think of is something like mfg.com -- and that's a Web 2.0-ish business that interacts with a program like a Solidworks and the people using it -- not something that tries to replace it.

It'd be unnecessary and a little silly to run a CAD program on that scale in a browser, and it's boggling to me that de Icaza doesn't seem to see that.

Re:Web 2.0 can only cover a small portion of apps (1)

raddan (519638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681196)

The odd thing is that de Icaza is a Real Hacker (tm) having worked on Gnumeric and GNOME among other things. And he knows that "Web 2.0" currently depends on either a cumbersome but open setup like AJAX, or something simpler but proprietary, like Flash or Silverlight. With the latter, proprietary type, the OS is not irrelevant at all. Since he is currently working on porting Silverlight to Linux, how could he not know this? This, combined with other things he's said in the past (like supposedly having tried to convince MS management to release their IE browser code), makes me think that he's either a liar or that he has some ulterior motive.

So, he's regretful but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22680200)

Although he may regret the deal, he still believes OOXML in Linux should be a first class citizen.
He's just sorry that the patent protection deal won't apply to everyone else.

Owned? (3, Funny)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680242)

... it's going to be owning end users.

Just as long as they don't whip me and make me pick cotton...

Re:Owned? (1)

jscalbny (1252620) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680566)

There is a feature beyond selling corporate [software] and patents ... it's going to be owning end users.

I find that statement, more than anything, to be truly disturbing...

While I find the premise of OSS that knowledge should be transparent rather than proprietary a nice ideal, Web2.0 seems like an incredibly Faustian deal. Of course there is no such thing as a free lunch... if you're getting free software, you pay by being an advertising target. More and more, though, I find that software that I have paid for (or donated to) asks me to pay again by being a marketing pawn. And then continue paying again and again... Online services I pay for shove an increasing amount of advertising at me. My OS shoves advertisement for "Upgrades" and "AddOns" at me. The software I have already paid for shoves adverts for additional services at me...

The whole Web2.0 business model appears to be an ad agency's wolf in an OSS sheep's clothing, does it not? At what point did we become the property of businesses we support by our patronage? At what point do we say enough is enough?

Re:Owned? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22680774)

Jeez!

Google went public how long ago, and you're just figuring this out now?

Re:Owned? (3, Insightful)

jscalbny (1252620) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681082)

Google = free search service therefore advertising revenues are appropriate and I have no objection

My operating system = paid in full, therefore it is an affront to charge me again through advertising

My software = paid in full, therefore it is an affront to charge me again through advertising

What the Web2.0 sheeple seem to believe is that it is perfectly alright to extend double-dipping as a standard business practice even further than it already has become. When an OSS fellow such as this actually has internalized this assumption to the point that he is referring to "owning" a product's users, I do believe it is past time to say "enough is enough" and "shove it".

Icaza was, at one point, an innovator and strong proponent of open source. In this one statement he reveals himself absolutely no different than the supposed "boogeymen" of proprietary software makers and patent trolls... if anything it betrays a sentiment towards a business model that is insidiously more rapaciously greedy.

It is hard to make a reasonable case about OSS being about freedom when he is sitting there referring to owning those that OSS was ostensibly supposed to liberate, is it not?

Re:Owned? (1)

genericpoweruser (1223032) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680938)

Not to be pedantic, but I hope you realize that most (any that I've come across) actually Free Software doesn't have ads or anything else "Faustian". I think you may be confusing Free Software with freeware. Though I see your point about the wolf in OSS sheep's clothing. Google isn't exactly Open Source, no matter how many times someone says it. I wouldn't go so far as to call them evil, but their priorities are to themselves, as a company, first, end users come later.

Re:Owned? (1)

corychristison (951993) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681010)

It's the free market society. No-one is saying you absolutely have to own a computer and be a Developer, designer or what have you. You have every right to go and live in the woods in a wooden house. If you want to live in todays society you have to at least be willing to accept that businesses will use advertising to make more money. Many-a-times businesses sell things below cost, and setup advertising deals with other businesses to make up the difference and then some. That 'and then some' will(/should) be used to pay it's employee's to create new products and the cycle starts over again. Yes, advertising is becoming obtrusive depending on how you look at it. A few years ago everyone used huge pop-up ads on websites. Who does that now? Every web browser has controls to stop the majority of them. Google took the right route and kept them very unobtrusive and look where they are. They are doing great. One complaint I see a lot is advertising in TV or Movies (and more recently, Games). I feel it's the same situation as websites and the software business... The money passes through so many hands that in the end, that make very little in the end. In some situations, I am sure that there are the cases where they have to make a deal with a company (Coca Cola, Pepsi, etc.) to cover their asses in case the movie doesn't do well. TV is the situation where they certainly could do without having Ads, but businesses WANT to buy advertising. There is a very easy remedy to the TV, Movies and Games situation. Simply don't watch/plya them if you don't want to be subjected to the ads. If you have a family, spend time with them. Stop buying movies and paying for TV service and save that money. Save up, go to Disney land. Fearing that you will get bored of not watching TV, buy some books! Have a reading time every day where you read books to your kids. Unobtrusive Advertising is where it's at. If it's in your face and a constant annoyance (eg: the land of pop-ups) eventually everyone will stop paying attention or find a way to do away with them (pop-up blocker, stop watching TV/movies) and their target market will diminish and will find a new way to get the word out about their products.

Re:Owned? (1)

jscalbny (1252620) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681296)

While I agree in part, the fact that it is a free-market economy does not mean that the consumers are entirely subject to the will and whims of the producers. There should be limits to what the market will tolerate in the quest for the profit margins desired, and it should not be necessary for someone to completely disconnect from the prevailing society in order to say they've had enough.

I have no qualms about advertising revenue in its appropriate venue. I do have qualms that the public is so willing to lay down for any new method some business exec comes up with for squeezing yet another dime out of their customers pockets that it has become not only expected but made an a priori that the price of being part of a technological society is to have your own property be considered on lease to you by the companies you have already paid. I do have qualms about the subscription model being overextended into every part of IT.

What I was saying is that further hiding this aggressive business model behind the rhetoric of OSS and that the adherence to it by such proponents is truly disturbing.

Linux not relevant? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680250)

What's all that Google "Web 2.0" stuff running on again?

On the desktop, sure -- and maybe that's all he meant, of course I didn't RTFA -- but in general? No, Linux is going to be relevant for a long time.

Re:Linux not relevant? (2, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680514)

He also said that neither Windows nor Linux are relevant in the long term, thanks to Web 2.0 business models: 'They might be fantastic products ... but Google has shown itself to be a cash cow.

Try running your browser without an operating system! This is why nerds make fun of MBA PHBs, even nerdy PHBs. "Market share" is irrelevent, ESPECIALLY when you're talking about something that can be given away freely.

Money is just a tool, not unlike Windows or Linux. Some people worship their tools, the rest of us construct them.

No Single Person Has Done More Damage To Linux (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22680306)

I would love to hear someone name a single person who has done more damage to Linux.

It should be a wake up call for anyone who wants to see Linux and open source software succeed that an incompetent and foaming at the mouth Microsoft lunatic has been not only able to wreck havoc in the desktop Linux effort but embraced for doing so by so many.

Re:No Single Person Has Done More Damage To Linux (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681170)

What about Steve Jobs? :)

The nature of Linux is such that Miguel would have a very hard time "damaging" Linux. Competition is helpful and healthy, but the only way Linux will ever truly die is with competition.

Let us imagine a prey animal and a predator. I don't know if wolves actually eat deer in real life, but that's what I'll use. One sick deer does not hurt the deer species. Predation by wolves hurts individual deer but strengthens the species. Of course, it's possible for wolves to hunt the deer to extinction, truly and ultimately damaging the deer species.

GNOME going in too many directions (5, Interesting)

lotzmana (775963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680308)

To me de Icaza was always the leading technologist of GNOME. Sadly he went into a direction that contributed to the loss of focus of what GNOME is. With indemnification or not, many of the main contributors to GNOME will not include anything that uses Mono.

Sun for certain will not work with a direct competitor to Java. Red Hat will rightfully avoid including something that requires them to go in bed with Microsoft over patents.

Linux kernel development shows that big free software projects need both enthusiast but also corporate contributors. So GNOME, not unlike the kernel, garnered support by companies like Sun, but also countless small guy contributors. With Mono de Icaza put powerful centrifugal forces that work against GNOME.

just my .02$

A Icaza post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22680316)

A Icaza post! A Icaza post! Quick! Call all your conspiracy friends and tell them to not go to the parties this evening but in stead bash and lie and bitch about how this and that Miguel is!

sigh (2, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680352)

He also said that neither Windows nor Linux are relevant in the long term, thanks to Web 2.0 business models
web 2.0 is fine and all but I suspect that in the long term you're still going to need an OS to do the work required to access web 2.0 in the first place. Then there's the fact that everything based on web 2.0 will not function without a connection and that is a critical flaw. web 2.0 is *not* a replacement, it is complementary.

Career paths (4, Funny)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680382)

I will assume that Microsoft told Miguel once and for all that they weren't going to hire him, so he decided to quit sucking up to them.

Next thing you know... (0, Offtopic)

penguinstorm (575341) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680394)

Eve will regret that thing about the Apple oh so long ago.

If you're going to deal with the devil, someone's going to get burned. It's not usually the devil either.

Google? No way. (1, Interesting)

qoncept (599709) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680442)

Google has over-extended itself. It's been dominating search for years, and doing it better and more dependable than anyone else. For a long time I wonder how they could continue exist with their minimal marketing -- all they did was show you what you were looking for. It was perfect.

Now, they've introduced dozens of products. A lof of them are popular, some not so much. The one thing they seem to all have in common is that they don't work all that well. From annoying bugs to issues that make some of the features worthless, the quality just isn't there anymore. Ex1 - I used google toolbar for easier searching, autofill and popup blocking, and bookmarks, which I loved since they'd follow me to different computers. Better popup blocking is now built in to browsers, search is there too, and autofill works correctly maybe 25% of the time. The bookmarks hardly work at all because I can't stay logged in for more than a few minutes, and I've found nothing addressing why.

Anyway, google's market penetration in to software has been very weak. Google Apps are used by no one. How can you claim they are going to dominate operating systems?

Re:Google? No way. (2, Interesting)

bendodge (998616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680746)

GMail, Picasa, Google Earth and Sketchup all work. Yeah, they've got a lot of garbage apps, but there are a few gems.

I don't get it (1)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680572)

Call me dim, why has anyone cared about Novell since, well, the mid '90s when anyone who wasn't locked into legacy stuff could just plug a network together?

Seriously, I read the Novell's Wikipedia page [wikipedia.org], but aside from some fond reminiscing of one-upon-a-times, do they do anything other than collect old buzzwords?

Re:I don't get it (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680628)

There are still quite a few Novell installs out there, so I guess they're important in that respect.

Re:I don't get it (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680934)

I know that as of 4 years ago Clemson University ran a huge Novell network (I had heard the largest install there was but I'm not sure about the validity of that claim). There were no plans to phase it out by the time I left.

I'm currently employed at a small county-level government facility, and over that last 2 years we have (mostly) phased out our remaining Novell boxes in favor of FreeBSD based SAMBA servers. For now anyways. There's an internal push to get rid of the FreeBSD machines now and go to "real" Windows. Sadly it's been somewhat successful. Our web server server currently on FreeBSD/Apache is "stepping up" to Windows 2003 Server/IIS next week. :(

Talk about regret (1)

NaCh0 (6124) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680592)

The only thing de Icaza regrets is that open source heavyweights like Red Hat and Mozilla didn't follow him down the Microsoft trap.

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22680654)

This guy is on crack.

1. Windows and Linux don't matter because it's all Web 2.0. (In which case, host your software-patent-violating Web 2.0 software on a server in India, where there are no software patents.)

2. We tried to balance user freedom and patent indemnification. (The latter shouldn't matter because it's all Web 2.0?)

I hope he's a good programmer, because he seems like a rather poor visionary and strategist.

Google may be a cash cow now (0, Troll)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680750)

Google will not be a cash cow forever.  Anybody who has done business with Google via their adWords product--that is, actually paying to place ads--knows that it is a rip off.

The reason being is you cannot bid what you think something is really worth, but only what Google tells you is the minimum bid--which they decide arbitrarily, with no explanation.  So you either expose yourself to HUGE surprise bills (I've seen this happen), or you don't advertise with them at all.  But either way you have little control.

If it's not a scam, they why is it that my bizarre, unique keywords--which currently have NO search ads on search results, have a minimum bid of $10 per click?  So they will bill you--get this--somewhere between .01 cents and $10 per click.

Over time, their customers will come to realize what a scam this is (as I have) and go with their competition.  Google is a cash cow because they control both the horizontal and the vertical--there is nothing wrong with your tv set.

No, you don't HAVE to use Google adwords.  Yahoo's program is much more reasonable, and just as effective probably for most businesses.

Linux matters (4, Insightful)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680878)

Linux matters, because if Microsoft had succeeded in taking over the server market, all those startups wouldn't have happened. Google wouldn't have happened.

And the reason why people are moving to Web 2.0 is not because the technology is necessarily better than doing stuff on the desktop, it's because Microsoft's desktop dominance has caused the desktop to stagnate and their monopolistic practices have kept innovators out of the market (it's also because Sun screwed up the one promising alternative model).

We still need Linux to run all those servers. We need Linux to run handheld devices. We need Linux for scientific workstations. And we need Linux for Web 2.0 desktops, desktops that provide standards compliant browsers, RSS software, HTML editors, E-mail clients, backup, P2P, etc. at a combined hardware+software cost lower than a Microsoft Vista license.

uhm..now you regret. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22680898)

Sure, now that the devil has your soul Miguel, now you regret.

Smart guy but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22680910)

Miguel de Icaza is a fine engineer but I struggle to take anyone seriously who thinks it is a good use of his time to re-implement Java for Microsoft. Its not that .NET/C# are bad, its just that it exists solely to keep developers locked to Windows so a Linux implementation is particularly pointless. If it ever gets good MS will kill it as a threat to Windows.

*Owning* end users? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22680982)

IMHO, anyone you talks about "owning end users", especially as a business "feature" has nothing worthwhile to say. People are not livestock, despite the popular slashdot joke about "sheople".
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