Ruminations on the Digital Realm

Jan Stedehouder

Mandriva will say no to Microsoft, it just needs some time to do so.

Adam Williamson was so kind to give us an early notification of a coming statement by the Mandriva management

This is the basic statement. It’s being cleaned up (language wise) for official publication.

“As far as patent protection is concerned, we are not great fans of software patents which we consider as counter productive. We also believe what we see, and until we see hard evidence from, say, SCO or Microsoft, that there are pieces of codes in our software that infringe existing patents, we will assume that any other announcement is just FUD. So we don’t believe it is necessary for us to get protection from Microsoft to do our job.”

(that’s from Francois Bancilhon)

I am curious to see the final statement.

Added later:

The Mandriva Wiki already has a somewhat longer statement about Microsoft and Mandriva not partnering. Edit: I am sorry. Adam Williamson pointed out that this is not the official Mandriva Wiki, but a member’s blogpost on the Mandriva Club pages. Thank you for claryfing that (JS)

Adam has already unofficially dismissed rumours on François’ part, but still I feel like pointing out the obviousness everybody with some real knowledge of Mandriva should’ve spotted..

Let’s summarize arguments against silly speculations about Mandriva wanting to consider any Microsoft deal seen from my perspective:

1. Mandriva is europe based, not such big pressure in the ~only location where such agreements would hold much relevance

2. Mandriva has no proprietary components with any concerns of Microsoft

3. ALL of Mandriva’s software published is free and has been released under the GPL, proprietary software is none of Mandriva’s concerns, only proprietary software relationships is through partners

4. Mandriva has no patents for Microsoft to buy. Some speculations has been about icrosoft buying out companies through these deals, so far from what I’ve seen this isn’t really the matter, Microsoft has paid huge sums for patents (ie. m$ paid novell several times more than the opposite). Mandriva has no intelluctual property for sale nor would it be possible in the Europe.

5. Mandriva has already declined invitations to “similar” partnerships like United Linux in the past. United Linux consisted of Conectiva, SCO/Caldera, TurboLinux & SuSE which was a collaboration on a common base with too commercial approach. (ie. binary-only, short summary; it’s dead with only SuSE & TurboLinux left..) It should give enough indication about Mandriva not joining such this time either. Speculations about TurboLinux & MS might be more interesting though since they already do ship some proprietary software as well it’s previous participation in United Linux. Still I wouldn’t expect though it as TurboLinux is a japanase company, not US..

6. Mandriva has one of the strongest communities among the Linux distributions, especially with regards to the commercial vendors, signing such agreements with Microsoft could very fell cause a fallout with the community.

So in conclusion from my ramblings, Mandriva would have nothing to gain while everything to loose by signing such an agreement.

By reading the speculations about this so far, it all seems like 99% FUD to me while the only valid reasoning behind the speculations being the fact that a few other vendors has already done so..

Edit 2: The official statement has been released here. For your benefit I have added the text to this post.

Novell, Xandros and Linspire have signed well publicized agreements with Microsoft.

Rumors on the Web have hinted that we might be next on the list. So we would like to clarify our position.

At Mandriva, we believe working in heterogeneous environments is essential to our customers. So, interoperability between the Windows and Linux world is important and must be dealt with, and anything that helps this interoperability is a good thing.

We also believe the best way to deal with interoperability is open standards, such as ODF which we support strongly and we are ready to cooperate with everyone on these topics.

As far as IP is concerned, we are, to say the least, not great fans of software patents and of the current patent system, which we consider as counter productive for the industry as a whole.

We also believe what we see, and up to now, there has been absolutely no hard evidence from any of the FUD propagators that Linux and open source applications are in breach of any patents. So we think that, as in any democracy, people are innocent unless proven guilty and we can continue working in good faith.

So we don’t believe it is necessary for us to get protection from Microsoft to do our job or to pay protection money to anyone.

We plan to keep developing and distributing innovative and exciting products and making them available to the largest number in the true spirit of open source.

François Bancilhon


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7 thoughts on “Mandriva will say no to Microsoft, it just needs some time to do so.

  1. Pingback: osViews | osOpinion

  2. The official statement is here:

    The second part of this article is incorrect. That is not the Mandriva Wiki. The Mandriva Wiki is at . That page is on the Mandriva Club: it’s a blog post (the Club has a blog infrastructure for members as one of their benefits) by Per Oyvind Karlsen, who works with Mandriva on contract.

  3. Pingback: No patent deal possible, says Red Hat and Ubuntu (and now Mandriva too) — Enterprise Linux Log

  4. Fredrik on said:

    Mandriva ROCKS !

  5. An interesting
    I picked from Jeremy’s (LinuxQuestions) weblog

    We now have three Linux distributions wrapped up in this patent debate. It was speculated that Mandriva may be next. Based on the profile of the latest two companies, it seemed a logical guess if you had to make one. It’s good to see that they have gone on the record saying that it’s not going to happen.

  6. Our friends at Tuxmachines had a poll under the title “M$ Patent Deal – Whose Next? You can find the results here.

  7. Pingback: Ruminations on the Digital Realm » Archive » Microsoft partners again: with TurboLinux. My, my, was I right ;-)

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