Re: Where we stand in regard to the future platform / desktop technology

On Sun, 2004-03-28 at 22:02, Luis Villa wrote:
> I generally agree with a lot of Havoc's reasoning, but I do feel that a
> couple points wrt Sun are worth contending with.
> On Sun, 2004-03-28 at 15:42 -0500, Havoc Pennington wrote:
> >  6. Sun does have dependencies on and reasons to negotiate with the 
> >     Linux and open source communities, while Microsoft does not.
> I think it is extremely naive to think that Sun actually feels that they
> have dependencies on the Linux and open source communities. While their
> GNOME group has consistently been a great contributor to GNOME, that is
> a small group within a large company which has consistently expressed
> extreme hostility towards Linux and misunderstanding at best and
> dismissiveness at worst towards the rest of free software. If we give
> Sun an opportunity to wipe out the Solaris competition by making
> ourselves overly dependent on Java, it's naive to think that this won't
> be something that Sun at least strongly considers- there will be
> factions within Sun that strongly push for this.
> >  7. Sun has a lot less money to spend than Microsoft.
> $5B or $50B makes very little difference to us. Either company has the
> money in the bank to wipe us out legally if they wanted to.

I would add that after the SCO bollocks and the adverse publicity and
cyberterrorism it caused, its highly unlikely any company will attempt
to sue Linux unless they are relying on litigation purely for survival
(which rules out MS).

Most large companies maintain portfolios for defensive actions only and
its very likely that SUN, IBM and MS all have patents on each other's
work and fear of retaliation is what prevents any of them from enforcing
them. I'm not suggesting we should ignore patents and where its a clear
cut case we should avoid them but we should also have some leeway in
legal grey areas as its virtually impossible these days to create
software thats 100% patent free. If everybody's view is "if there's the
slightest doubt - don't use it" then we may as well give up on all open
source projects let alone incorporating a VM into Gnome. 


> Luis
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> desktop-devel-list mailing list
> desktop-devel-list gnome org

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