The folks at /. have linked to an open letter to the OSS community from Novell. This impacts HPC in that much of HPC is done on Linux, a large and growing fraction if you look at Top500 and other measures.
Here is why I thought it was a good thing.
Yes. Exactly. Companies … no … customers want interoperability.
Moreover, they don’t really like it when their suppliers start suing each other, or them.
Yup. This is right. At the end of the day, the customers, the people who buy stuff, want us to work together, and work well together, and play well together. Not pull an SCO, meaning, don’t do something really dumb like sue over contrived slights.
Yet, sadly, the CEO of Microsoft had, well, a slightly different interpretation.
After hammering out an agreement, it sure sounds like they aren’t talking about the same thing. Sounds like one of them is talking about agreeing not to sue others and work on interop, and the other is putting FUD out there.
One says …
and the other says …
There is a message here … well … no, two messages here.
First: Novell agreed to something it thought was pretty reasonable, and it was construed or played and reported quite differently than they had interpreted it. Which means either Novell’s lawyers and execs are clueless, they were played, or they failed to consider the potential interpretations and ramifications of the deal and how people would react. Including the party they made the deal with. Which means that their marketing group was really clueless.
Second: Microsoft is executing tactics against its strategic aims of ridding the world of the scourge of FOSS OSes and applications. Its execs appear to be willing to make deals, not what the people who they make deals with them believe they mean, and then spin them any which way they see fit. And they do so at the expense of the “partner” they did “business” with.
Sounds like we need a new acronym to describe this behavior. How about PINO … Partner In Name Only.
So while one company thinks it is doing good things to build bridges and enable their customers to do better things (assuming we are not being fed a line), another is licking their lips over the crushing patent blow they are about to launch.
So which of these two organizations do you feel comfortable doing business with?
Ok, back to HPC. Now Microsoft goes on a patent* buying spree. Suddenly it starts asserting its new found ownership rights.
The rest is, as they say, history.
- I have nothing against patents. I think they are a good thing, especially for small companies.