2011-04-21

Microsoft gets Novell's Patents rights but must share them with Open-Source Software | ZDNet

Microsoft gets Novell's Patents rights but must share them with Open-Source Software | ZDNet:

This analysis--more a summary, I suppose--is useful. What will happen a) to Novell post Attachmate (and thus to Novell's work on, for instance, OOo, now LibreOffice), is worth wondering about. With the agreement signed by Novell and MIcrosoft signed back in 2006, Novell's work on OOo and its release of the same, became little more, as far as I can tell, than a proxy for MSFT, a way for MSFT both to expand its base and secure its customers. Why did it have to do this? Because the ODF and OOo were gaining significant share not only of the productivity suite market but the one to come, and that latter one is far larger than the current.

I'm not dismissing or disparaging the efforts of the developers working on the code or providing their contributions in the LO camp; they are good people and hardly consider themselves, I dare say, agents or proxies for MSFT or anyone--that's one reason they formed LO, I understand. But in the calculus of divide and conquer, who wins?

I'd like to make sure that divisions do not lead to conquest, and that those that exist are, as much as is possible, reconciled. Too much is at stake. Over the last ten plus years, we've moved from being "the alternative" to something innovative and new. We've created a new market, the ODF market, which does not depend on any one vendor.