Novell's Miguel de Icaza: "We should have stayed with the open-source community"

Novell screwed up. Period.

In the past I've criticized Miguel de Icaza, Novell's rock star open-source developer, for getting too cozy with Microsoft. Even so, I've never doubted Miguel's commitment to open source.

All the worse for him, therefore, that he has to live with Novell's mistakes. Microsoft convinced Novell to go along with its strategy to create a walled garden of "safe open source" (meaning, all open source that pays Microsoft a fee) versus "risky open source" (meaning, all open source that doesn't pay Microsoft a fee). Red Hat was right to resist and push Microsoft to open up. Novell was wrong to capitulate.

I've long known that Miguel didn't have his heart in that tie-up, so it was refreshing to see him go on the record at Microsoft's own conference about Novell's mistake in entering into the agreement:

I'm not happy about the fact that such an agreement was made, but [the decision] was above my pay grade; I think we should have stayed with the open-source community.

For once, I have nothing to add.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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