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More details on Microsoft-Suse partnership

Date/Time Permalink: 11/03/06 05:03:45 pm
Category: General

BetaNews has filled in some blanks for the stunning story related here yesterday.

The effects of this story on the geek community have been slap-stick hilarious. All across Slashdot, Digg, etc., one poster after another is flabbergasted beyond any ability to type anything rational. Heck, I'm caught off-guard, too. I have absolutely no clue where this is going (well, I have clues from past MS behavior with other "partners" they've had before).

The closest thing my weakly trembling brain has had to a coherent thought so far is: "Microsoft is going to lose even more credibility." After the massive FUDvertizing of campaigns like "Get the Facts" and the hysterical smears of it's paid asstroturfers, after the war in the desktop and server room going on for ten years, after all the outright damage done to cripple Linux's market at the behest of Microsoft. They come back after all this time and say "Let's be friends?" Even if they're shining with sincerity, who the hell needs a friend like that?

And now Microsoft, to give even a shred of credence to their new policy, has to go around tearing down all their anti-Linux signs, banner ads, erasing the Ballmer interviews where open source was debunked... Microsoft is in too deep a hole on this issue to ever dig it's way out. They'd be better off sticking to it at this point and just releasing their own open source system (no, not a Linux or a BSD. From scratch!).

Just searching Microsoft.com for the keyword "Linux" still turns up a shovelful of FUD. After all this, they're going to make it a product? Marketing is normally the only thing Microsoft gets right.

You'd have to imagine if President Bush today gave a speech,"I have made diplomatic relations with Saddam Hussein, who will go on in his role of leading Iraq. We will build him a new palace, and work together to support the glorious Saddam empire." That's how much of a reversal this is. WMDs? Troops in Iraq? Oh, just sweep those under the rug. The public will forget about them in a few weeks.

UPDATE: The normally perky blogosphere has been frustratingly sluggish to pick this up, but some stories are finally coming in:

Novell finally opening it's mouth about it. Thank you Novell, but wouldn't before the fact have been better?

Bruce Perens points out what they aren't telling you. Thank God for Bruce; I was wondering when a FOSS overseer would step in. Torvalds and Stallman, your thoughts in this matter?

Red Hat's own 'Truth Happens' blog. Now I know Red Hat is Novell's competitor and would of course have sour grapes about it. But it links to valid pages off-site to support every point.

and a hint from Ballmer that more Linux distros are welcome to join the party.

Well, to summarize the situation in two words: BAD NEWS!

My gut is never wrong. Let me just ask this: Why partner with Microsoft? What do they really bring to the Linux table? We've gotten this far not only without their help, but with their bitter opposition. I say we need to turn them down. Listen to Bruce Perens, he's a smart guy. Remember the graves of Microsoft's former friends.

Simply put, they just aren't crawling in a convincing way. We don't need them patenting Free and Open Source software, we don't need them charging Linux a tax, and we most definitely do not need them profitting off of the Open Source community's hard work!

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