UPDATED Nov. 10
I have changed the content on the MS website – follow the links in this posting. Also, check out the comments to this post as there is a good conversation going on.
In a recent post up on the KDEdevelopers.org site a concern was raised about the fact that there are “joint statements” from Novell/Microsoft up on the Novell site wherease on the MS site we refer to the same doc as coming from Novell exclusively. The items in question are: Open Letter on Novell site, Open Letter on Microsoft site. The blogger, Pipitas, is lead to wonder if the discrepency of these web site titles represents a deeper problem in the Novell/Microsoft relationship. What is more, he wonders if it was cowardice on Microsoft’s part to not say the letter came from us.
First, both the open letter from the execs and the letter to the community were jointly developed by Novell and Microsoft.
Second, I am the one who made the call to put the text up on our website the way it is. The title and preamble were not authored to be disengenous, in fact it was meant to be more respectful of the fact that Novell has significantly closer ties to the FLOSS development community than we do. From any perspective, the leadership shown by both Nat and Miguel to move such large engineering projects forward is impressive. Furthmore, there is text in the letter that is more from Novell’s perspective than Microsoft’s and it seemed odd to me to say that the text was from us even though we worked closely on the content with the Novell team.
Third, what would you like us to do to rectify this from the community perspective? I’m open to all suggestions. I don’t consider this a big deal, but at the same time we are all about customer service. Seriously though, if it is an issue of wanting to see the Microsoft site be updated with more explicit text, I am happy to comply. To some, this may be making a mountain out of a mole hill, but Nat asked me to take a look at the post and see what we could do to respond.
Let’s keep things in persepctive and focus on what has been accomplished. This deal represents a big step forward in how companies, individuals, and any type of organization can work through many of the big issues that have come about as FLOSS has continued to change the face of the marketplace. Red Hat says that this deal is “unthinkable” – yet I look at it and wonder what is so unthinkable about giving customers decreased risk, increased choice, and that significant resources are being applied to one of the most critical interoperability issues facing them today? Is the idea that there is money involved with Linux surprising to anyone? When Red Hat charges for a support contract, is that “taxing innovation?” Novell and Microsoft have taken a run at a really hard set of problems and have arrived at a starting point – not the destination.
We have a long road ahead of us in this collaborative partnership with Novell. I’m looking forward to learning more from them and seeing what benefits we are going to bring to customers over the long-term.