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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.