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Novell Businesses Microsoft

De Icaza Regrets Novell/Microsoft Pact 264

Posted by Soulskill
from the win-some-lose-some dept.
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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De Icaza Regrets Novell/Microsoft Pact

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  • Ah. I see. (Score:5, Funny)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Friday March 07, 2008 @04:18PM (#22680070) Homepage Journal
    Oh, well, that just makes it all better now, doesn't it? Miguel says he's sorry, guys. Will you forgive him?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by harry666t (1062422)
      Yeah, sure
    • 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. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jason Earl (1894) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:30PM (#22681124) Homepage Journal

        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. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Znork (31774) on Friday March 07, 2008 @06:35PM (#22681958)
          Novell can say that it has the solution.

          It can say it but it'd be lying; with GPLv3 the pact becomes worthless.

          This differentiation has allowed Novell to snag some big clients that almost certainly would have gone with Red Hat otherwise.

          It probably lost them quite a few too. And those who'd been dubious about SuSE's not-quite-free history but warmed up to Novell most likely placed SuSE straight back in the don't-touch-with-a-ten-feet-pole pile.

          I'd say the deal has lost them any trust the free software community had. Any code coming out of Novell is now suspect; potentially patent encumbered and possibly intended as a trap. Novell now has a monetary interest in poisoning the community software pool; thats reason enough to distrust anything they say or do.
          • Re:Ah. I see. (Score:4, Informative)

            by mrchaotica (681592) * on Friday March 07, 2008 @06:52PM (#22682200)

            It can say it but it'd be lying; with GPLv3 the pact becomes worthless.

            Only for the patents used by those projects that have adopted the GPLv3.

          • Re:Ah. I see. (Score:5, Informative)

            by Bananenrepublik (49759) on Friday March 07, 2008 @08:41PM (#22683362)

            Novell can say that it has the solution.

            It can say it but it'd be lying; with GPLv3 the pact becomes worthless.
            You may want to check the facts again. The GPLv3 explicitly didn't include provisions that apply retroactively, as would be the case in the Novell patent agreement. The GPLv3 authors did so because of this agreement.
    • by moderatorrater (1095745) on Friday March 07, 2008 @04:30PM (#22680264)
      Let he who has never used proprietary software cast the first stone.
      • Re:Ah. I see. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Daniel Phillips (238627) on Friday March 07, 2008 @04:49PM (#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
      • Whetstones? Drystones? Gelatenous Cajones stones? Can these stones break windows?
    • by Applekid (993327) on Friday March 07, 2008 @04:31PM (#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 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by sjwest (948274) on Friday March 07, 2008 @04:37PM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday March 07, 2008 @04:41PM (#22680424) Journal
        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: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by cloakable (885764)
          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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Your.Master (1088569)
          Novell actually makes money off of the deal. Why wouldn't they do it?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by vic-traill (1038742)

          Novell is the one that is moving towards irrelevancy

          I can't touch base with this. Novell's death watch has been on so long it reminds me of 'imminent death of net predicated' Metcalfe-style comments. Novell's 2007 fourth quarter results [novell.com] (Note: PDF) reported a net income of $245 million, around $10 million more than the same quarter the year before.

          No juggernaut, but Yahoo Finance reports a market cap of $USD 2.19 billion.

          Gone are the giddyup days when Novell owned the NOS market, but Novell keeps on cranking out software products for a remarkably loya

      • by dhavleak (912889)

        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: (Score:3, Informative)

          by leenks (906881)
          Pretty much the whole compute facility runs open source operating systems.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Eric Pierce (636318)
      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. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by DarkProphet (114727) <chadwick_nofx&hotmail,com> on Friday March 07, 2008 @09:14PM (#22683638)
      Oh, well, that just makes it all better now, doesn't it? Miguel says he's sorry, guys. Will you forgive him?
      <Engage flame retardant vestments of the pious>
      No. I swear this idiot thinks he is the next Linus or something. He has made one stupid decision after another in regards to Microsoft and pseudo-MS technology, and now its biting him in the ass. His stupid mistakes are the reason I can no longer run SuSE in good conscience. I hope MS ends up shoving it up his ass and Novell takes a hit for their trouble. Thats what they get for screwing up my fave Linux Distro.

      OTOH, if it wasn't for their collective ignorance, I'd have never discovered Kubuntu, which totally rocks. So, thanks Miguel for being a sellout. You have been assimilated and I have been freed. Have a nice day.
  • Miguel (Score:2, Funny)

    by z80kid (711852)
    .. who?
  • Not slashdottish (Score:2, Insightful)

    by El Lobo (994537)
    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).

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:01PM (#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.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        This isn't about someone who's neutral to the whole Microsoft/Linux thing
        That's okay, neither is he.
      • Re:Not slashdottish (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Amtiskaw (591171) on Saturday March 08, 2008 @09:43AM (#22686408)
        Seems to me his comments relate specifically to Novell's patent deal with Microsoft, not his efforts to produce free software implementations of Microsoft's stuff.

        I'm always disappointed when I see the abuse heaped on de Icaza by the Slashdot crowd, simply because he doesn't quite hate Microsoft enough. The guy has spent years developing free applications, and has likely written ten times more open source code than his detractors will ever produce. If you actually read his opinions or listen to him speak, it's clear that he is committed to the ideals of free software, he just doesn't buy into the whole partisan "micro$oft sux!" attitude. I wish people would get some perspective on this issue and learn that you can disagree with someone in an informed manner without resorting to childish name-calling. That kind of behavior reflects far worse on the abusers, and confirms the wider perception of Slashdot geeks as childish and belligerent fundamentalists.

        Microsoft's dominance is a fact, we (e.g. the free software community) may not like it, but we have to deal with it. De Icaza's stance is that people will use .NET and Silverlight regardless of whether they are available for Linux or not. If they're not available then it is Linux that will suffer, as it will not be able to offer as rich a user experience as Windows. So he has undertaken the job of helping produce compatible open source implementations for Linux (and other OS's). I don't imagine many people have a problem with this in concept. It's no different from what the Wine project is doing, and they don't seem to get keelhauled for being Microsoft shills every time they are mentioned on Slashdot.

        His more controversial stance is that suggesting that the Microsoft technologies like .NET, Silverlight and OOXML are actually quite good, and that free software developers should make use of them to develop software, instead of just seeing them as a way to help migration away from Windows. This I have difficulty with. I support open standards, and while parts .NET are standardised, their development is hardly open in the way say HTML or C++ is open. But in truth, the free software community has failed to provide a real alternative to technologies like .NET or Silverlight. For example, where is the open standard alternative to Flash and Silverlight? Sure, a combination of SVG, JavaScript and a few other things might get you a similar level of functionality, but the end-to-end ecosystem of a coalesced product, browser plug-ins, developer tools, examples and learning material just isn't there, despite the community having had years to produce it.

        Ultimately, it isn't good enough to say to users and developers, you can choose between great proprietary solutions and mediocre open ones. Free software needs to be as good as or better than non-free software if it is to succeed. If it isn't, then most people will inevitably choose the proprietary solutions and free software developers will have to clone them to keep up. So if people don't agree with Miguel de Icaza, then maybe they should concentrate less on attacking him and more on producing great open solutions that will blow Microsoft and everyone else's out of the water.
    • by Foofoobar (318279)
      For someone who thinks with their emotions, you might think that people are basing their decisions on what people think but it is moreso based upon a history and pattern of actions taken by Microsoft towards the open source community. Actons and patterns that to this day have not changed. And when Miguel said 'come on everyone, jump on aboard the Microsoft bandwagon', we knew that he was going to live to regret it because we knew the history and their pattern of actions.

      He, as a vice president, was think

    • by dan_bethe (134253) <slashdot@smuck o l a . o rg> on Friday March 07, 2008 @10:13PM (#22683962)

      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.

      Do you realize that you just stated a polarized viewpoint of a polarized viewpoint? You took a web site full of participants of every background and perspective, and reduced them to a single characteristic -- that of bipolarity.

      [ponders carefully with an analytic memory, having been a long time slashdotter] ...Seriously, everyone does that. :/

  • Tag this story 'Quisling'.
  • The crossroads (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davejenkins (99111) <slashdot&davejenkins,com> on Friday March 07, 2008 @04:21PM (#22680128) Homepage
    deal with the devil, and you'll be rich-- but you'll lose your soul. Tell Robert Johnson hello, Miguel.
  • Poor judgement (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bitserf (756357) on Friday March 07, 2008 @04:21PM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Unoti (731964) on Friday March 07, 2008 @04:32PM (#22680298) Journal
      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 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by msuzio (3104) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:00PM (#22680728) Homepage
        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 (Score:5, Informative)

          by jhoger (519683) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:30PM (#22681122) Homepage
          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.
      • by hdparm (575302)
        If that was the case, he would've never said anything positive about the deal. Let alone OOXML.
    • Re:Poor judgement (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mabhatter654 (561290) on Friday March 07, 2008 @04:40PM (#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.
      • by dhasenan (758719)
        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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by zappepcs (820751)
      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
      • 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.
        • 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? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by serviscope_minor (664417) on Friday March 07, 2008 @04:25PM (#22680178) Journal
    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.
    • by jez9999 (618189) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:00PM (#22680724) Homepage Journal
      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? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ComputerSlicer23 (516509) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:01PM (#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? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by msuzio (3104) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:09PM (#22680846) Homepage
        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.
        • by jhantin (252660)

          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?".

          Oh, just like StarOffice was when Sun first got hold of it, and like Office 2007 is today, and like any number of vertical suites are. It's dreadfully common, and tends to irritate the hell out of anyone trying to get real work done. I call them "Pinky and the Brain" applications. Their mission: t

      • by dedazo (737510)

        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). Th

    • Re:Web 2.0 eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by plague3106 (71849) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:06PM (#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.
      • by Mex (191941)
        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.
        • by plague3106 (71849)
          Do you really think the average user feels comfortable storing, say, bank information online?
          • Re:Web 2.0 eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Mex (191941) on Friday March 07, 2008 @06:43PM (#22682086)
            "Do you really think the average user feels comfortable storing, say, bank information online?"

            From my personal experience? Oh yes. Also, nude pictures of themselves, photos of their marihuana stash, and all manner of things that should really be kept private.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        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?

        If you don't get the point, why are you on Slashdot? You are using a "web application" right now.

        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?

        We're working on it. [dataportability.org]

        Now that that's out of the way, the few reasons I can think of not wanting someth

    • by toppavak (943659)
      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 wh
  • 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 no
    • by LWATCDR (28044)
      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 e
    • by JSBiff (87824) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:05PM (#22680798) Journal
      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! (Score:3, Interesting)

        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.
      • by raddan (519638)
        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 t
  • Owned? (Score:4, Funny)

    by snl2587 (1177409) on Friday March 07, 2008 @04:29PM (#22680242)

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

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

  • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sm62704 (957197)
      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 co
  • by lotzmana (775963) on Friday March 07, 2008 @04:33PM (#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$
  • sigh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wizardforce (1005805) on Friday March 07, 2008 @04:35PM (#22680352) Journal

    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.
    • by DragonWriter (970822) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:52PM (#22681420)

      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.


      De Icaza didn't say that the OS would become unnecessary, only irrelevant, by which he clearly meant that it would become a commodity without the power to lock people in. If the OS you are running makes no different to your apps (which is ideally the case with "Web 2.0" apps, but not really all that much the case given that many "Web 2.0" apps require not only a standards-compliant browser but also require support infrastructure whose availability, quality, and behavior is not consistent across different OS's.)

      Then there's the fact that everything based on web 2.0 will not function without a connection and that is a critical flaw.


      How critical that flaw is depends on how ubiquitous connectivity is; anyhow, "web 2.0" apps that can operate in an "offline" mode are a big focus and something de Icaza was no doubt considering in making the statement.

  • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Friday March 07, 2008 @04:38PM (#22680382) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • 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?
    • There are still quite a few Novell installs out there, so I guess they're important in that respect.
      • by MBGMorden (803437)
        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 "r
  • The only thing de Icaza regrets is that open source heavyweights like Red Hat and Mozilla didn't follow him down the Microsoft trap.
  • Linux matters (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nguy (1207026) on Friday March 07, 2008 @05:11PM (#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.
  • Do not make everything a web app. Please do not make everything connected. Surely not every application need to be moved onto the browser.
  • by mortonda (5175) on Friday March 07, 2008 @06:02PM (#22681544)
    Saying that MS and Linux are irrelevant because Google and web 2.0 are the thing is missing the boat just as bad.

    The real issue is freedom - people want to be able to use software without being treated like criminals. Get rid of cd keys, license terms, eulas, and stop suing your customers!!!

    This is where Google has been getting it right so far.... they don't treat their user base as if they are adversaries. It's not so much about the technology as the presentation - any of these technologies *could* get the job done; what people want is the solution with the least hassle, the most dependability, and where they trust the vendor to not screw them over. MS and Novell have both sunk themselves in this regard.
  • by Ilan Volow (539597) on Friday March 07, 2008 @07:10PM (#22682382) Homepage
    Taken from wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_goggles [wikipedia.org]

    "Beer goggles is a slang term for a phenomenon in which consumption of alcohol lowers sexual inhibitions to the point that very little or no discretion is used when approaching or choosing sexual partners.[citation needed] The term is often humorously applied when an individual is observed making advances towards, later regretting sexual contact with, a partner that is deemed unattractive, unacceptably scandalous, or repulsive when the prospect of sex is considered while sober. The "beer goggles" are considered to have distorted the "wearer's" vision, making unattractive people appear beautiful, or at least passably attractive. Beer goggles are also known as "Stellavision", "Beerglasses" and "The Cider Visor"

    Modified slightly

    "Patent Indemnification is a term for a phenomenon in which promise of immunity from lawsuit lowers corporate inhibitions to the point that very little or no discretion is used when approaching or choosing corporate partners.The term is often applied when a corporation is observed making advances towards, later regretting contact with, a partner that is deemed unattractive, unacceptably scandalous, or repulsive when the prospect of partnership is considered while sober. Patent indemnification is considered to have distorted the company's vision, making unattractive corporation appear beautiful, or at least passably attractive."

    It really sounds like he's regretting a one-night stand.

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