And then there were three
June 20, 2007
In any mental matrix that one has when mentally comparing distros, you can rattle off the expected variables: BSD/Linux, version of X, gnome or KDE, package management system, and on and on. So what’s this new column materializing? “Deal with Microsoft? Yes/No.”
Mandriva has just posted some official looking blog statement announcing their stance against a Microsoft deal of any sort, joining Ubuntu and Red Hat. So the count seems to be 3 and 3 now? What will be interesting is how distros step forward in the coming months. Will Debian sign a deal next? I keeeeed I keeeeed. Will completely unaffected smaller distros make announcements, not out of solidarity, but to get some cheap press and new users?
Wade Olson, head of the unheralded and unrecognized FreeBuntutoo distro (the only distro to use portage to download source code which when compiled and run writes out tarballs of .deb packages) announces: “No way in hell we’ll sign with Microsoft! Now don’t forget to visit our donations page!”
When reading all of these announcements, don’t forget to think of motivation. What is the stance, why the announcement and why at that point in time? How is the distro doing, how does it interact with Microsoft, who’s the archetype user base?
As far as Microsoft is concerned, you know the drill: Stop declaring the desire for interoperability while in practice actively sabotaging every aspect of it (standards adherence, ODF participation, Samba team interaction, etc).