Canonical versus Novell

Apparently impatient about the slow development of Debian distribution system, Linspire has migrated to Ubuntu, which is another Debian-based Linux variant.

Linspire becomes one of over 20 distributions based in Ubuntu. I don’t know how it compares from other major distributions but I can see the latent power that Canonical has unleashed. And I cannot help but bring Novell in the picture.

True, openSuse has come close to the top of popular distributions, trying to eclipse Ubuntu. But I have not yet seen efforts that emulate openSuse development.

And look how the two companies try to extend their influence. Canonical works from behind while Novell spends much for PR. Canonical attracts other Linux companies while Novell attracts Microsoft. Canonical seems to be popular among the non-profit sectors while Novell looks attractive for business.

I cannot make a final judgment here but I like the way Canonical has been doing things. Mark Shuttleworth’s leadership is crucial, the guy who wants to think out of the box, while not giving up on the free and open source principles.

Let’s give it to Novell. Maybe it’s carrying it too far, but it’s the function of the Linux Foundation to monitor Linux champions’ software development and marketing activities. As long as there is openSuse, we can be left assured that the hundreds of Linux and BSD flowers, so to speak, continue to bloom.

Overall, Canonical must be commended for its efforts to reach out to other Linux champions. Perhaps it’s time to reach out to Novell? And as a check to Canonical’s tendency to monopolize things, if there was, there must be efforts to strengthen alliance among companies that embrace Linux. It’s so sad that the DCC seems doomed to fail.


  1. I think Canonical will not reach out to Novell. Novell made sort of a betrayal to the FOSS community when it made the inter-op pact with Micro$oft. And it still puzzles me up to this day. Why, oh why, would you team up with a known detractor of FOSS? I believe M$ could make it’s products inter-operable even without the pact if they adopted open standards. It seem M$ wants to be the head honcho in everything. It’s always their way or the highway. Example, they could have just adopted ODF for there upcoming M$ Office 2007 suite. No… they made their own XML-based document format (OOXML) where ODF is already sufficient. Also, I know that Vista’s CIFS/SMB 2.0 protocol seems to be not backwards-compatible with the old one which works with SAMBA, I heard that on the The Linux Tech Show podcast when they had the SAMBA guys as guests. I think I heard one of them said that a Window$ engineer(?) said “F*ck with SAMBA”…
    Anyways… just the stigma attached to the whole inter-op pact is reason enough that Canonical will not reach out with Novell…

  2. I guess that it is likely to happen, although with a very slim chance. We were surprised at Novell’s allying with M$, right? So anything under the software-political 🙂 sun can happen.

    Thanks for dropping by, Chris.

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