16 June 2007

Ubuntu Will NOT Be Next

Xandros and Linspire recently followed Novell and drank the Koolaid. Possibly because those two are known for ease of use (like Ubuntu), possibly because Ubuntu is popular, there have been whispers that Ubuntu is next. Ubuntu is not next. The SABDFL has decided to clear up the rumours. Canonical is not talking to Microsoft about patent deals, except to say "no." Mark makes it clear that as long as Microsoft cannot substantiate any claims, there will be no negotiations. I suppose this means that if Microsoft were to tell us all what they want to have fixed, he'd be willing to work on clearing up the violations or, as I would like to see happen, work on stripping Microsoft of those patents (the stupid, obvious ones).

He goes on to say that he would like (as, I think, many of us would like) to see Microsoft's talk of interoperability become a reality. He suggests a few things, the gist of which involve Microsoft learning to conform to standards instead of making up their own. Not to burst his bubble, but the W3C has been trying that for years. Opera is still the most standards-compliant browser (despite lacking Microsoft's extensive resources), and Internet Explorer is still the least standards-compliant browser. They may have made an attempt to get closer to standards with IE7, but really, the thousands of programmers they have couldn't do it? The millions of dollars Microsoft has couldn't hire programmers who could do it? No, much more likely is that Microsoft considers standards-compliance to be very very low-priority. Vendor lock-in by making as many things proprietary as possible is a very high priority to them. Thats seems hard to achieve on a browser at first glance, but when you consider all of the sites which use broken code to display correctly on IE and end up breaking on Firefox, there end up being a lot of people who won't switch to good browsers because their favorite website uses bad code and "doesn't work" on standards-compliant browsers. Similarly, the harder they make it for OOo to open Microsoft Office documents, the harder it becomes for people to use OOo (unless everyone they know uses it too), and then the more copies of Microsoft Office they can sell.


Alex said...

Its about damn time that someone doesn't cave under a little bit of pressure brought on by unfounded claims of patent infringement.

Sal said...

i think the rumers of ubuntu folding where just jive from people who are upset about buntu's ssuccess rate.

Robert Sterbal said...

Patent laws are going to be very complicated to enforce with a free consumer product. What gives most patent cross licensing teeth is that there is an entity that needs the patent licensing to keep its customers happy.

By the way, I'm the guy who met you at Summer Slam, and handed you the origami. You do a really neat job of promoting this platform.

Jeffrey said...

So Microsoft is trying the SCO gambit, eh? I hope it works as well for them.